PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Kenneth Miller, professor of biology, has long supported science teachers, not only by co-authoring several popular textbooks, but also by vigorously defending the teaching of evolution. Earlier this month at their annual meeting in Chicago, the members of the National Science Teachers Association honored Miller with its 2015 presidential citation.
A decade ago, when the Dover school district in Pennsylvania sought to compel science teachers to present “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution in their lessons, they refused and Miller testified on their behalf. In the historic federal district court ruling Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education, the judge cited Miller frequently in ruling that intelligent design had no constitutional place in the classroom because it was religious doctrine rather than science. The Dover science teachers who refused to teach intelligent design won the NSTA’s first-ever presidential citation. This year was Miller’s turn.
Miller said the NSTA’s honor is important to him because what science teachers do is so crucial for society.
“Educators help to create the scientific community of tomorrow, so the work that K-12 science teachers do in their classrooms and teaching laboratories is critical to the future of science in this country,” Miller said. “To me, this citation reflects the importance these educators attach to the support they receive from higher education and from the scientific community itself. I have been privileged to help NSTA members in their work by writing textbooks and serving as a public advocate for the integrity of science, and it is humbling to be recognized so generously by NSTA for doing the work I enjoy.”