Professor William McComas Named 2020 Winner of Prestigious Friend of Darwin Award

William McComas
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William McComas

William F. McComas, Parks Family Distinguished Professor of Science Education in the College of Education and Health Professors, has been named one of the three 2020 winners of the prestigious Friend of Darwin Award for his impact on evolution education.

The award is presented annually by The National Center for Science Education, an organization specializing in supporting and defending the teaching of controversial issues such as evolution and climate change in public schools.

In an announcement about the winners, NCSE's executive director Ann Reid noted "The Friends of Darwin for 2020 have made profound contributions to the cause of evolution education and to NCSE in a variety of ways." She also acknowledged McComas for his "unparalleled leadership in evolution education." McComas joins an impressive list of previous winners who have included writers, activists, scientists and educators.

McComas, who began his career as a secondary school biology teacher, is a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and is a Fulbright scholar and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He's the author or editor of several books, including Nature of Science in Science Instruction: Rationales and Strategies, The Language of Science Education, Investigating Evolutionary Biology in the Laboratory and The Scopes Monkey Trial. McComas is editor of The American Biology Teacher.

This spring, McComas and a team of 10 other professors will offer a 3-credit hour interdisciplinary class, The Darwin Seminar, that explores the science of evolution, the life of Darwin, links between evolution and literature, science and religion and even the legal aspects of teaching about natural selection. This class is available for departmental credit in CIED, BIOL, HIST, ANTH and PHIL.

For more information about this unique undergraduate experience, a full description is available.

Contacts

Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

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