This essay is reproduced here as it appeared in the print edition of the original Science for the People magazine. These web-formatted archives are preserved complete with typographical errors and available for reference and educational and activist use. Scanned PDFs of the back issues can be browsed by headline at the website for the 2014 SftP conference held at UMass-Amherst. For more information or to support the project, email email@example.com
Report from the Boston Science Teaching Group
by the Boston Science Teaching Group
The Science Teaching Group has concentrated in the last few months on sales of the 3 “Science and Society” pamphlets, on a Biology Teachers’ Conference in Framingham and on consideration of new projects. Sales of the pamphlets have been going extremely well with both “The Energy Crisis” and “Genetic Engineering” (2000 each) nearly gone. The latter will be reprinted and a group is working on a new pamphlet on “The Politics of Ecology.”
Our participation in last November’s regional National Science Teachers’ Association conference in Boston (See SftP, vol. VI, No. 2, p. 46) has generated unexpected dividends. Shortly after this meeting, a local high school teacher contacted us and asked if we would help out with a Massachusetts Biology Teachers’ Association conference on “genetics”. The conference was held on May 4 at Framingham State College. It turned out that three of us became the major portion of the program as we lead sessions on “Recent Progress in Genetics,” “Social and Political Implications of Genetics,” and “Genetics, Race and IQ.” All 200 teachers attended the first 2 sessions and a majority the latter session. We found a lot of sympathy for our ideas and sold $75 worth of literature (IQ issue of the magazine and pamphlets.) In addition, at one of the other workshops on the program, we discovered that a teacher who attended our sessions in November was now promoting teaching approaches with some of our material. It has really been very exciting to see that as a result of our efforts over the last few years, we have become a major resource for science teachers in the area. This is opening up all sorts of avenues for us to work with others.
As a result of our activities a group from the South End in Boston, interested in influencing the curricula in a soon-to-be opened grammar school, has asked us to criticize current science curricula and propose alternatives. The group represents an area which is a mixture of anglos, Spanish-speaking, blacks and other minority groups, and would like to see the school reflect the needs of the community.
A nutrition sub-group will be preparing materials both for teaching and for the SftP magazine.