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Contacts, background information and news releases

Media Contacts

The following people are available for contact by media representatives.

Jonathan Smith FCS President
Phone: 863-860-2125 / E-Mail: cyjonolds@aol.com
Consultant specializing in the teaching of scientific concepts and addressing misconceptions within those concepts.
-- BSE/MSE Degree Wellingborough Technical College UK
-- PhD, University of Phoenix. Scientific Pedagogy and Instructive Strategies
-- Member of AAAS and NCSE
-- 2008 CFI Contribution to Science award; 2011 Arizona Science Teachers Association Conference, "Best Overall Presenter"

Joe Wolf FCS Vice President
Phone: 863-325-9133 or cell 863-521-5235 / E-Mail: joe.wolf@tampabay.rr.com
Retired, 30 years in field of Operations Research/Management Science, Member of Marlington Local School Board in Alliance Ohio from 1984 to 1997. Served as President of the Board for several of those years. Served on the curriculum committee from 1984 to 1997.
-- Recipient of National Center for Science Education's Friend of Darwin Award.
-- Highest degree: M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend Ind.
-- Specialties: Currently a Polk County Master Gardener and a volunteer at Historic Bok Sanctuary in the greenhouse, Pinewood estate gardens, the Endangered Plant Program, and as a garden guide.

Brandon Haught FCS Communications Director
Phone: 352-434-9267 / Email: bhaught@flascience.org
High school biology/environmental science teacher.
-- Author of Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom.
-- Recipient of National Center for Science Education's Friend of Darwin Award.
-- Education: B.A. in Science Education (Biology grades 5-12), Western Governors University.
-- Specialties: Expert on history of creationism vs. evolution conflict. High school science teacher. Media relations, press releases, social media, etc. for Florida Citizens for Science.

Joseph G. Meert, Ph.D. FCS Board Member
Phone: 352-846-2414 or 352-870-7009 / E-mail: jmeert@bellsouth.net
University of Florida, Department of Geological Sciences
-- Affiliation: Sustaining Member National Center for Science Education, Member American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America
-- Education: Ph.D. University of Michigan
-- Specialties: plate tectonics (especially as related to the Cambrian explosion and ancient paleoclimates), geochronology, evolution of the early earth, critiques of the young earth creation hypothesis and intelligent design.

Henry E. Neufeld FCS Board Member
Phone: (850) 968-1001 / Email: pubs@energion.com
Owner, Energion Publications (http://www.energionpubs.com), president of Pacesetters Bible School, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing religious education to local churches, writer, lecturer, author of "What's in a Version?" on Bible translations, and "Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Confessions of a Liberal Charismatic" on his broader view of the meaning of Christianity.
-- Education: B.A., Biblical Languages, Walla Walla College; M.A. in Religion, concentrating in Biblical and Cognate Languages, Andrews University

Wesley R. Elsberry, Ph.D. FCS Board Member
Phone: 727-753-8658 (cell) / Email: welsberr@austringer.net
Data Scientist at RealPage, Inc., Richardson, Texas
-- Recipient of National Center for Science Education's Friend of Darwin Award.
-- Affiliations: President and Director, TalkOrigins Archive Foundation (http://www.talkorigins.org)
-- Education: Ph.D., Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University
-- Specialties: Applications of evolutionary computation, biosonar in dolphins, psychophysics, artificial intelligence and artificial neural systems, history of the antievolution movement in the USA, critiques of "intelligent design" argumentation (especially Dembski's "specified complexity")

About Us:

Florida Citizens for Science is a statewide, nonprofit, grass-roots organization made up of those who wish to help our state develop and maintain the highest educational standards. We support science-based curricula, textbooks, testing methods and appropriately trained teachers to provide students with the analytical skills and understanding necessary for the good of our communities, our state, our country and our world. We welcome members with different political views, religions and philosophies, but maintain that the proper focus of science education is the study of the natural world through observation, testing and analysis.

Board of Directors:

  • President: Jonathan P. Smith, Lithia, FL
  • Vice President: Joe Wolf, Winter Haven, FL
  • Secretary: David Campbell, Middleburg, FL
  • Treasurer & Communications Director: Brandon Haught, Port Orange, FL
  • Board Member: Mary Bahr, Gainesville, FL
  • Board Member: Pete Dunkelberg, Orlando, FL
  • Board Member: Henry Neufeld, Cantonment, FL
  • Board Member: Kathy Savage, Oviedo, FL
  • Board Member: Bob Zannelli, Ocala, FL

News Releases

  • Press Release: Lawmakers’ Instructional Materials Proposal: Costly Headache for School Boards (1/11/16)
  • Press Release: We need a better road map to science education success (4/13/12)
  • Press Release: 2011 "Critical Analysis" Bill Harmful to Science Education (3/13/11)
  • Press Release: "Critical Analysis" Bill Undermines Florida Science Education (2/27/09)
  • Press Release: Florida Science Education Needs Citizens' Support (8/12/08)
  • Press Release: Response to House vote passing the deceptively named "academic freedom" bill (4/28/08)
  • Press Release: Response to House debate on evolution bill (4/25/08)
  • Press Release: "Academic Freedom" bills needless and treacherous (4/4/08)

Background Information

To assist reporters in background research for stories concerning the teaching of evolution, the following links are provided.

  • Link -- Media Fact Sheet concerning evolution in the Florida science standards. A must read for anyone covering this issue!
  • Link -- National Center for Science Education resources page. This page covers such things as court cases involving evolution and creationism, the fallacy of "evolution is just a theory," and why "it's only fair to teach both sides" is bad for science education.
  • Link -- National Center for Science Education's Voices for Evolution Project. This page lists the official statements made by educational, scientific and religious organizations in support of evolution.
  • Link -- Understanding Evolution site. A great website for the basics on what evolution is and how important an understanding of the subject is. This site was created by the University of California Museum of Paleontology with support provided by the National Science Foundation (grant no. 0096613) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (grant no. 51003439).
  • Link -- Our own FCS links page. Several more helpful sites can be found here.
  • Link -- The FCS Projects & Events page provides a good historical narrative of the battle over evolution in Florida's science standards.

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