Her first lecture, “In the Beginning,” will be at 6:00 p.m. on November 13 in the McClung Museum lecture hall, and is free and open to the public. It will focus on theories of the origin of the universe from a scientific and a religious perspective. She will look at differences and similarities between these theories and discuss whether or not they are mutually exclusive.
“The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses,” she said.
Her second lecture, “What the New Tennessee ‘Academic Freedom Act’ Means to You,” will be at 10:00 a.m. on November 14 in the Art and Architecture Building, Room 111, and is open to UT graduate students. She will discuss the Academic Freedom Act passed by the Tennessee legislature earlier this year, which calls for teaching the “strengths and weaknesses” of topics such as evolution, global warming, the origin of life, and human cloning. More than forty similar laws are being considered around the country.
Scott said these laws are “patently injurious to science education.”
Scott, a former college professor, is internationally known for her work on improving the teaching of science, particularly evolution. She wrote Evolution vs Creationism: An Introduction and co-edited Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools. She has received numerous awards, including eight honorary college degrees.
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