Thursday, August 24, 2006


Evolutionary Biology Disappears from Grant List

Cornelia Dean reports in today's New York Times that "[e]volutionary biology has vanished from the list of acceptable fields of study for recipients of a federal education grant for low-income college students."

According to Dean, "Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University, said he learned about it from someone at the Department of Education, who got in touch with him... Dr. Krauss would not name his source, who he said was concerned about being publicly identified as having drawn attention to the matter."

"Though references to evolution appear in listings of other fields of biological study, the evolutionary biology sub-subsection is missing from a list of “fields of study” on the National Smart Grant list — there is an empty space between line 26.1302 (marine biology and biological oceanography) and line 26.1304 (aquatic biology/limnology)," reports Dean.

Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, told the Times that "people at the Education Department had described the omission as 'a clerical mistake.' But it is 'odd,' he said, because applying the subject codes 'is a fairly mechanical task. It is not supposed to be the subject of any kind of deliberation.'”

“I am not at all certain that the omission of this particular major is unintentional,” he added. “But I have to take them at their word.”


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