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Losing Out in Louisiana

on June 3, 2009
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The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology moved its conference from New Orleans to Salt Lake City.

Last year Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a law allowing teachers to “use supplemental textbooks . . . to help students critique and review scientific theories.” The bill also indicated that it should not “promote any religious doctrine.”

To protest the law, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology moved its 2011 conference from New Orleans to Salt Lake City because “the official position of the state [is] weakening science education and specifically attacking evolution in science curricula.” At least one other organization has received pressure from its membership to follow suit and abandon plans to hold a conference in New Orleans.

The boycott comes without any evidence that the new law will undermine the teaching of evolution. In fact, the law does not have any language specifically attacking evolution.

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