Unfortunately, I don’t have much info on the roundtable discussion from earlier this evening. I wasn’t there (no way I could get the time off of work … a real downside to this being a fully volunteer organization), so I can’t give you a blow by blow. Florida Citizens for Science president Joe Wolf told me over the phone that it went well. About 30 people were in attendance. Some subjects covered included the history of the state science standards and why they’re important, who defines science, legal issues with the anti-evolution bills, these bills are setting up school districts for lawsuits, background information on the Discovery Institute and its goals and efforts, why this issue just never goes away … etc.
The lawsuit issue seemed to be a big one. The bills could put school districts in a terrible bind. A teacher who decides to set his or her curriculum based on the new law (if bills are passed) might find him or herself at odds with the school administration. If the administration attempts to set the teacher straight, the teacher could possibly sue. And if students’ parents get wind of any shenanigans in the classroom, they can then sue the school district. There could potentially be lawsuits popping up all over the state. These bills were termed “lawsuit magnets” during the roundtable.
The point was also made that the Discovery Institute’s efforts shouldn’t ever be discounted as just some minor, smalltime annoyance. Dr. Kroto in his travels around the world has noticed similar determined efforts everywhere he’s gone.
I expect that someone who was at the roundtable will write up a better summary of what happened, but that probably won’t happen for a day or two, allowing for these folks to travel back home and get to writing. I will link to or post here any accounts that turn up. Also, perhaps some news reports will give us some insight as well. Three TV stations have blurbs up on their sites: WCTV, WMBB, and WTSP. WMNF radio has something too.