Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reiss Resigns from Royal Society

You knew this was coming. Michael Reiss, the professor of education who made waves by hinting that teaching creationism was not a bad thing has resigned. The story relates:

The Royal Society announced Reiss's resignation in a statement today. It said: "Some of Professor Michael Reiss's recent comments, on the issue of creationism in schools, while speaking as the Royal Society's Director of Education, were open to misinterpretation. While it was not his intention, this has led to damage to the Society's reputation. As a result, Professor Reiss and the Royal Society have agreed that, in the best interests of the Society, he will step down immediately as director of education."

I am not sure what is more disturbing about this. The fact that he was clearly misquoted by people who should have known better and resigned in spite of that or the fact that the Royal Society felt that even the hint of creationism was enough to damage its reputation. The society should simply have issued a statement saying that the esteemed professor firmly believes that creationism is without merit but that it needs to be addressed on some level. I don't know anyone who follows this debate who doesn't think that. This is also a stark reminder of how wrong the media gets things, even when they know the whole story. This is why I get my news from blogs these days.

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