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Frequently Asked Questions about NCSE
What does NCSE do?
The National Center for Science Education, founded in 1981, engages in a number of activities advancing two primary goals: improving and supporting education in evolution, climate change, and the nature of science, and increasing public understanding of these subjects. This work is supported primarily by membership contributions, with some additional assistance from private foundation grants.
NCSE provides information and guidance to citizens faced with local challenges to the teaching of good science:
Educating the Public through the Media
Networking with Other Organizations
Assistance to educators
How does NCSE handle attacks on science education?
Our first choice is always to assist local citizens in resolving issues by providing them with appropriate information: for example, we may give a parent current legal information to share with a school administrator, or provide book reviews to a school administrator who is researching the appropriateness of a book suggested for library use. Occasionally, in response to a news report, we approach school administrators with an offer of information or assistance. Our goal is to provide information that will lead to community consensus, rather than confrontation.
Does NCSE get involved in lawsuits?
Litigation is expensive and time consuming, and NCSE recommends that it be used only as a last resort. We have a legal advisory panel that can be called upon when litigation is necessary, or threatened by other parties. As an authority in evolution education, NCSE is uniquely qualified to comment on cases relating to creationism and anti-evolution. In 1998 we filed an amicus brief in connection with an appeal of the Freiler v Tangipahoa decision ruling an antievolution disclaimer unconstitutional, and in 2005 we filed a joint amicus brief with the People for the American Way Foundation in Selman v Cobb County. NCSE also acted as scientific advisors in the Kitzmiller v Dover trial.
What is NCSE's religious position?
None. The National Center for Science Education is not affiliated with any religious organization or belief. We and our members enthusiastically support the right of every individual to hold, practice, and advocate their beliefs, religious or non-religious. Our members range from devout practitioners of several religions to atheists, with many shades of belief in between. What unites them is a conviction that science and the scientific method, and not any particular religious belief, should determine science curriculum.
What is NCSE’s political position?
None. NCSE believes that the teaching of good science is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but one that is essential to the success of all Americans. Support for NCSE’s efforts to ensure that mainstream scientific views are taught in the classroom comes from liberals and conservatives, libertarians and the apolitical. We are unified in believing that science education should not be politicized.
What is NCSE's position on controversies about civil liberties and education?
NCSE sometimes works with organizations that have broad concerns about civil liberties or public education, but only when evolution or climate education is involved. When there is legislation proposed in these areas, we may inform our members of how science education would be affected. Otherwise, we do not advocate any positions or legislation concerning civil liberties or the schools.
Who supports NCSE?
NCSE's members come from all walks of life. Many are teachers and professional scientists who care intensely about the quality of science education. Others are parents, clergy, science enthusiasts, and concerned citizens. Official supporters are distinguished individuals who have endorsed the goals of the National Center for Science Education. There also are Supporting Organizations that support our efforts both in spirit and financially.
What organizations does NCSE work with?
NCSE cooperates nationally and locally with scientific, educational, religious and civil liberties organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union, and People for the American Way. We are an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Associated Group of the National Science Teachers Association.
What is Project Steve?
Project Steve is NCSE's parody of creationist lists of "scientists who doubt evolution." For more information, go here.
Can NCSE provide a speaker for my event?
Yes! A list of NCSE speakers and suggested honoraria can be found here.
Are there any job, volunteer, or internship opportunities available?
To see whether NCSE is currently hiring, go here. We often need volunteers to help with clerical and archival tasks, both within and outside the NCSE office; please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss the possibilities. We do not offer paid internships.
What is NCSE's federal tax identification number?
NCSE's federal tax identification number (or employment identification number: EIN) — which you might need if you want to arrange for a matching donation from your employer, for example, or to make a donation of stock — is 11-2656357.
How can I obtain information on NCSE's finances?
NCSE's Form 990s are posted at Guidestar and may be viewed there; Adobe Reader and free registration with Guidestar are required. Searching by the EIN 11-2656357 is the quickest way to find NCSE there. If you're unable to access the Form 990s at Guidestar, get in touch with the NCSE office.
Revised January 2012