Major Biology Conference Shuns Louisiana

"The executive committee of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology decided not to hold any future meetings in New Orleans owing to 'the official position of the state in weakening science education and specifically attacking evolution in science curricula,' according to a February 5, 2009, letter (PDF) from SICB's president, Richard Satterlie, to Louisiana's governor Bobby Jindal. Noting that the last SICB meeting, held in Boston, attracted over 1850 scientists and graduate students to the city for five days, Satterlie observed, 'As you might imagine, a professional meeting with nearly 2000 participants can contribute to the economic engine of any community.' But in 2011, those economic benefits will accrue to Salt Lake City rather than to New Orleans."read more

A Geology Lesson for Bobby Jindal

How is it that the GOP continues to shoot itself in the foot with its anti-science crusade? Back during the general election, Governor Sarah Palin, in a moment of horrific ignorance, wailed against fruit flies, not realizing the role that the humble fruit fly plays in scientific research. Then there is Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma who believes that global climate change is "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

Now it's Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's turn to demonstrate a profound ignorance of the country he lives in with yet another flippant anti-science remark. The United States ranks third, behind Indonesia and Japan, in the number of historically active volcanoes. Most of the volcanoes are found in the Aleutian Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest. The remainder are widely distributed in the western part of the nation from California to Colorado. The entire Western United States sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. A part of this ring of fire is the Cascade Volcanic Arc which includes nearly 20 major volcanoes. Seattle and Portland are both firmly at least until the Earth shakes within the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

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