UT Science Forum: Professor Discusses Teaching Evolution in Tennessee

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KNOXVILLE — What do students understand – and not understand – about evolution and the nature of science? Andrew Kramer, professor and head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will discuss the misinformed ideas held by students taking introductory biological anthropology classes.

His talk – “Teaching the ‘E-Word’ in Tennessee” – will begin at noon on Friday, November 12, in Thompson-Boling Arena Dining Room C-D. The program is free and open to the public; attendees are welcome to bring their lunches or purchase lunch at the Café at the Arena.

The UT Science Forum is a weekly event where academic, medical and research professionals share their knowledge and unique insights in their fields. Different science topics will be discussed with a question-and-answer session at the end of each 40-minute presentation.

On the first day of class, Kramer’s students complete an anonymous survey regarding evolution facts and fiction. For more than 10 years, Kramer has collected and analyzed their responses.

“Many of these results are unexpected and point to critical shortcomings in high school preparation and university biological science education,” Kramer said.

The UT Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. The final presentation for the fall semester will be:

Nov 19: Jill Narak, assistant professor of neurology and neurosurgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine, presents “Neurologic Exams on Dogs and Cats — Patients Who Can’t Talk.”

For questions about the UT Science Forum, contact Mark Littmann, littmann@utk.edu or 974-8156 or Mike Clark, clarkgmorph@utk.edu or 974-6006.

C O N T A C T:

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)

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