Texas Citizens for Science supports stripping powers from state board

April 14, 2009

Another press release, FYI.  I’ve added some links in for your convenience.  Remember, teachers of social studies, social studies is next on the SBOE chopping block — with rumors that SBOE is disbanding the expert panels rather than simply ignore the recommendations.  Will they expunge slavery and Native Americans from the history books?  Will they rewrite the Vietnam War?  Consider Senate Bill 2275, and call your legislator:

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Texas Citizens for Science
2009 April 13

Contact:
Steven D. Schafersman, Ph.D.
432.352.2265
tcs@texscience. org

Texas Citizens for Science strongly supports Senate Bill 2275 which transfers authority for curriculum standards and textbook adoption from the State Board of Education (SBOE) to the Texas Commissioner of Education.

For decades, members of the SBOE have censored, qualified, distorted, damaged, manipulated, and rejected curriculum standards and textbooks. All of this was done for political, ideological, and religious reasons, never for educational or pedagogical reasons. In the past, this activity was done secretly, behind closed doors, but now it is being done publicly in full view of the public and press. Recently, inaccurate, censored, and pedagogically- inferior English Language Arts and Science curriculum standards have been written by the SBOE using their power of amendment. This year, the Social Studies standards will be attacked by some SBOE members for non-educational reasons that support their political and ideological agendas.

For textbooks, in the past the SBOE chair would secretly “negotiate” with publishers to make them change the content of their textbooks under the implied threat of being rejected; publishers readily submitted to save multimillion dollar textbook contracts with the state. In numerous instances, textbook content was replaced by watered-down, inferior, and often misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete information. This activity continues today, albeit more openly with both press and public attention. Science textbooks censorship by the SBOE has occurred sinc the 1960s, as has censorship of social studies and other textbooks.

Dr. Steven Schafersman, President of Texas Citizens for Science, says this:

“The Texas State Board of Education has been an embarrassment and a disgrace to Texas for many decades. This Board’s activities that censor and corrupt the accuracy and reliability of specific topics in mainstream Science, Social Studies, and Health Education are well-known to educators throughout the United States as well as in Texas. All educators are aware of the negative and damaging influence the Texas State Board of Education has on textbooks used in Texas and other states.”

“Texas Citizens for Science has opposed the State Board of Education since 1980 in our effort to defend the accuracy and reliability of science education in Texas. We have repeatedly had to defend Biology and Earth Science textbooks from the Board’s predatory efforts to damage their content about such subjects as evolution, the origin of life, the age of the Earth and Universe, the true nature of the fossil record, and several other scientific topics.”

“Although largely successful in the past, only this past month TCS was unable to prevent the State Board of Education from amending the excellent science standards produced by science teachers, professors, and scientists. The State Board’s subsequent amendments created several flawed standards that, while not overtly unscientific, were confusing, unnecessary, poorly-written, and opened the door to insertion of pseudoscientific information, including bogus arguments supporting Intelligent Design Creationism. Among others things the Board accomplished during this exercise in pseudoscience was to remove the e-word and the ancient age of the universe from the standards. These accomplishments were petty, disgraceful, and clear proof of their anti-scientific and pro-Fundamentalist bias. A modern, technologically- advanced state such as Texas does not need such anti-science activity from a state board.”

Texas Citizens for Science urges the Senate Education Committee to approve SB 2275 and send it to the full Senate, the House, and then hopefully signed into law.

Resources:


Cognitive Science Network, new at SSRN

April 14, 2009

Unedited press release follows:

We are pleased to announce the creation of the Cognitive Science Network (CSN). It will provide a worldwide, online community for research in all areas of cognitive science, following the model of other subject matter networks within SSRN.

We expect CSN to become a comprehensive online resource for research in cognitive science, providing scholars with access to current work in their field and facilitating research and scholarship.

CSN’s founding director is Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science.

Initially, CSN will begin with the following 7 subject matter eJournals, and subscriptions will be free during the start-up phase until October 2009.

COGNITION & CULTURE: CULTURE, COMMUNICATION, DESIGN, ETHICS, MORALITY, RELIGION, RHETORIC, & SEMIOTICS

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Cognition-Culture.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Cognition-Culture

Editor: Todd Oakley, Associate Chair, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description: Cognition & Culture focuses on the cognitive study of cultures as creations of human minds in environments. Its scope includes research on cultural manifestations, their differences and incommensurabilities, and their expressive and semantic regularities and universals. This eJournal announces working papers, meetings, and events associated with interdisciplinary research projects and aims at encouraging collaboration across disciplines. It presents research in cognitive science having to do with such fields as design, ethics, history, jurisprudence, morality, philosophy, politics, religion, sociality, science, and technology.

COGNITION & THE ARTS

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Cognition-Arts.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Cognition-Arts

Editor: Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description: A publication dedicated to the artful mind and its relationship to the full range of higher-order human cognition. All scientific approaches are welcome, including developmental, evolutionary, linguistic, and comparative. Cognition & the Arts construes artistic behavior broadly, to include not only the various recognized genres of the arts but also design, style, and performance, throughout the lifecourse.

COGNITION IN MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE, & TECHNOLOGY

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Cognition-Math-Science-Tech.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Cognition-Math-Science-Tech

Editors: Gilles Fauconnier, Professor, Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, and Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description: Mathematical insight, scientific discovery, and technological innovation are hallmarks of higher-order human cognition. Cognition in Mathematics, Science, and Technology is dedicated to the cognitive science of mathematics, science, and technology – in phylogenetic descent, ontogenetic transformation, and historical action.

COGNITION LINGUISTICS: COGNITION, LANGUAGE, GESTURE

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Cognitive-Linguistics.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Cognitive-Linguistics

Editor: Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description:Cognitive linguistics goes beyond the visible structure of language and investigates the considerably more complex backstage operations of cognition that create grammar, conceptualization, discourse, and thought itself. The theoretical insights of cognitive linguistics are based on extensive empirical observation in multiple contexts, and on experimental work in psychology and neuroscience. Results of cognitive linguistics, especially from metaphor theory and conceptual integration theory, have been applied to wide ranges of nonlinguistic phenomena.” – Gilles Fauconnier. 2006. “Cognitive Linguistics.” Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. John Wiley & Sons.

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Cognitive-Neuroscience.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Cognitive-Neuroscience

Editor: Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description: Cognitive Neuroscience is dedicated to research on the neurobiological substrate of higher-order human cognition. All methodologies are welcome – philosophical to physiological, modeling to mapping, statistical to individual case study – in forging a research initiative that transcends the limitations of any one discipline or paradigm.

COGNITIVE SOCIAL SCIENCE

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Cognitive-Social-Science.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Cognitive-Social-Science

Editors: Mathew D. McCubbins, Professor of Political Science, Chancellor’s Associates Chair, University of California, San Diego – Political Science, Adjunct Professor & Co-Director of the USC-CalTech Center for the Study of Law and Politics, University of Southern CaliforniaGould School of Law, and Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description: Mental events, however distributed, provide the defining problems of the social sciences. What are our basic cognitive operations? How do we use them in judgment, decision, action, reason, choice, persuasion, expression? Do voters know what they need to know? How do people choose? What are the best incentives? When is judgment reliable? Can negotiation work? How do cognitive conceptual resources depend on social and cultural location? How do certain products of cognitive and conceptual systems come to be entrenched as publicly-shared knowledge and method? Economists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and all other social scientists refer as a matter of course to mental events and typically must assume some general outline of what those mental events can be and how they can arise. They explore networks of mental events in social systems and in social cognition. Given this convergence of cognitive science and the social sciences at their intellectual cores, and the increasing body of research activity at their intersection, the Cognitive Science Network provides an eJournal to track and distribute new and classic research in the emerging field of cognitive social science.

EMERGENCE OF COGNITION

View Papers: http://www.ssrn.com/link/Emergence-Cognition.html
Subscribe: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=Emergence-Cognition

Editor: Mark Turner, Institute Professor, Case Western Reserve University – Department of Cognitive Science

Description: Dedicated to the study of the emergence of cognition, especially human higher-order cognition, phylogenetically and ontogenetically, in evolution and development.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
You can subscribe to the eJournals by clicking on the “subscribe” links listed above. You can also subscribe to all of the eJournals at once by clicking here: http://hq.ssrn.com/jourInvite.cfm?link=CSN-all-inclusive-journal

Individual subscriptions to the CSN eJournals will be free during the start-up phase, ending October 2009. After that, individual subscriptions, for all CSN eJournals, will be $40 per year. Organizational Site Subscriptions will also be available.

You can modify your subscriptions by going to the SSRN User HeadQuarters: http://hq.ssrn.com. If you have questions, please email UserSupport@SSRN.com or call 877-SSRNHelp (toll free 877.777.6435). If you are calling from outside of the United States, please call 00+1+585+4428170.

SUBMITTING PAPERS TO SSRN
Authors are invited to submit papers to the eLibrary without charge through SSRN’s User Headquarters at http://hq.ssrn.com.

Additionally, departments, centers, and other institutions may host their own institutional Research Paper Series to showcase and distribute faculty research. For more information, email Cathy_Blocher@ssrn.com.

SSRN’s eLIBRARY
SSRN’s searchable electronic library contains abstracts, full bibliographic data, and author contact information for more than 228,300 papers, over 110,700 authors, and full text for more than 187,000 papers. The eLibrary can be accessed at http://ssrn.com/search.

SSRN supports open access by allowing authors to upload papers to the eLibrary for free through the SSRN User HeadQuarters at http://hq.ssrn.com, and by providing free downloading of those papers.

Downloads from the SSRN eLibrary in the past 12 months total approximately 7.2 million, with approximately 27.6 million downloads since inception. Downloads are currently running at a rate of 7 million per year.

SSRN’s PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORY
Searching on an individual’s name in the author field on our search page at http://ssrn.com/search provides the best single professional directory of scholars in the social sciences and humanities. Complete contact information for authors, including email, postal, telephone, and fax information, is available there.

SSRN’s MISSION
SSRN’s objective is to provide rapid, worldwide distribution of research to authors and their readers and to facilitate communication among them at the lowest possible cost. In pursuit of this objective, we allow authors to upload papers without charge. And, any paper an author uploads to SSRN is downloadable for free, worldwide.

Sincerely,

Mark Turner
Director
Cognitive Science Network


Black Sabbath – reward for boys’ achievements

April 14, 2009

So, if you’re not giving away distressed Black Sabbath t-shirts, how can you be sure you’re reaching the teenaged boys in your classroom?

Ms. Peña, a Disney researcher with a background in the casino industry, zeroed in on a ratty rock ’n’ roll T-shirt. Black Sabbath?

“Wearing it makes me feel like I’m going to an R-rated movie,” said Dean, a shy redhead whose parents asked that he be identified only by first name.

Jackpot.

Ms. Peña and her team of anthropologists have spent 18 months peering inside the heads of incommunicative boys in search of just that kind of psychological nugget. Disney is relying on her insights to create new entertainment for boys 6 to 14, a group that Disney used to own way back in the days of “Davy Crockett” but that has wandered in the age of more girl-friendly Disney fare like “Hannah Montana.”

What if you could make algebra 2 or world history feel like going to an R-rated movie?


Evolution in Texas

April 14, 2009

From image maker Colin Purington:  Texans fondness for Biblical literalism indirectly ruins science education for the rest of the country. Texas is the nations biggest consumer of textbooks, so authors will often write their books for the Texas State Board of Education, which usually has at least one delusional freakazoid who believes that fossils are the result of the Great Flood. On the State School Board!! I kid you not. Really amazing, and sad.

From image maker Colin Purrington: Texans' fondness for Biblical literalism indirectly ruins science education for the rest of the country. Texas is the nation's biggest consumer of textbooks, so authors will often write their books "for" the Texas State Board of Education, which usually has at least one delusional freakazoid who believes that fossils are the result of the Great Flood. On the State School Board!! I kid you not. Really amazing, and sad.

Another brilliant creation of Colin Purrington’s Evolution Outreach project.


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