For those Internet-addled readers with shortened attention spans, I should explain that the title above is a cynical wind-up guaranteed to garner extra hits for this post.
Back in September of last year I commented on the unwarranted attack levelled against the respected science educationalist Michael Reiss by a powerful faction within Britain’s Royal Society. Those responsible for this nastiness objected to Reiss’s position as the society’s director of science education, and his views on how teachers should deal with creationist objections to evolution by natural selection.
By misrepresenting Reiss’s advice to school teachers, the campaign led by Richard Roberts, John Sulston and Harry Kroto achieved its primary objective – the defenestration of Reiss – but it backfired on its viciously anti-clerical promoters. So much so that the Royal Society’s reputation was badly damaged, and Richard Dawkins felt it politic to distance himself from the principal coupsters.
I’m pleased to learn that Reiss was recently appointed vice-president of the young people’s section of the British Science Association. Now I should stress that the appointment of this middle-aged scholar-priest is quite unlike old Onkel Otto’s chairmanship of the Freie Deutsche Jugend. In the case of the BSA, Reiss is seen more as an informal mentor. I wish him well in his new role.