Zack Kopplin, defender of science

Zach is a science hero.

How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists.

Kopplin, who is studying history at Rice University, had good reason to be upset after the passing of the LSEA — an insidious piece of legislation that allows teachers to bring in their own supplemental materials when discussing politically controversial topics like evolution or climate change. Soon after the act was passed, some of his teachers began to not just supplement existing texts, but to rid the classroom of established science books altogether. It was during the process to adopt a new life science textbook in 2010 that creationists barraged Louisiana’s State Board of Education with complaints about the evidence-based science texts.

“This was a pivotal moment for me,” Kopplin told io9. “I had always been a shy kid and had never spoken out before — I found myself speaking at a meeting of an advisory committee to the State Board of Education and urging them to adopt good science textbooks — and we won.” The LSEA still stood, but at least the science books could stay.

In addition, Kopplin has introduced two bills to repeal the LSEA, both of which have been sponsored by State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. He plans on producing a third bill later this spring.

“Creationism confuses students about the nature of science,” he says. “If students don’t understand the scientific method, and are taught that creationism is science, they will not be prepared to do work in genuine fields, especially not the biological sciences. We are hurting the chances of our students having jobs in science, and making discoveries that will change the world.”

He has contributed to the CSI page today. When no one else took a stand, he did. It’s wonderful he’s getting attention for standing up for science. Louisiana is just digging themselves a hole backwards in time (to mix my metaphors). More people need to stand up and say the leaders are being dumb to dis science.

  3 comments for “Zack Kopplin, defender of science

  1. Bobbi Snow
    January 17, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    What a courageous student! I applaud him. Hopefully there are hundreds of thousands of others just like him in backwards states who (in spite of their young age) know the difference between dogma and reality.

  2. Donna
    January 17, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    I agree. Hope more do this, too. Keep up the good work, young man.

  3. RDW
    January 18, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    It’s good to see young people behaving responsibly the way this young man does. It’s also very questionable whether people who would choose to bring Creationist literature into a classroom to be taught as a “Real” theory should be permitted to teach Science in a school, at all. Certainly not a public school.

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