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Vice President Mike Pence and his science education agenda?

By Science Editor

Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, will be speaking at the Republican National Convention this evening in Cleveland, Ohio. The governor will also be accepting the official endorsement for vice presidential nomination for the republican party.

If Donald J. Trump wins the election in November, then Governor Pence will have access to setting the agenda for federal science policy over the next four years. With that said, what would a Mike Pence science education agenda look like? And what are some of the policies he might push as vice president?

As Mike Pence explained in a 2009 interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, the governor wants to teach the controversy. That is, the governor is not against teaching intelligent design (creation science) and biological evolution in the same classroom.

Does he mean the biology classroom? And if so, does he mean biology courses in public schools? Or would he make a distinction between biology and non-biology classrooms and public and non-public schools? Of course, if he did support teaching intelligent design in science classrooms in a public schools, such a policy would lead to constitutional questions, such as should public tax dollars go towards intelligent design curriculum and should one “origin” story be taught over all other “origin” stories? However, some questions have already been addressed in Kitzmiller v. Dover.

There isn’t much on science education in his record over the past four years in office as governor and he doesn’t state specifics in this interview with Matthews. Rather, he’s a bit ambiguous and aloof in the exchange. For example, he exclaims he believes in the “fundamental truth.” And he also states that he’ll have to ask God how it works someday. However, this just raises more questions in addition to the questions already posed.

Here’s the full interview.


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