Skip to main content


Evolution and Society course

Research Achievements

Evolution and Society course

The Evolution and Society course was completed in the fall of 2009 by seven IPEM trainees and five others. Using appropriate current literature as a launching point, trainees engaged in intense, collegial discussion and structured debates on key current social, political and philosophical issues related to evolution and the history of evolutionary thought. Topics included the recent Intelligent Design movement; evolution and human nature; and evolutionary applications in medicine, agriculture and conservation. Trainees left the comfort of their individual specialties and theoretical backgrounds, and achieved an unusually keen understanding of the diverse styles in which investigators in different disciplines articulate underlying assumptions, build models, test hypotheses, and apply evolutionary principles. They benefited from a strong unit on enhancing teachers' effectiveness in evolutionary education, including a guest workshop by WSU science education specialist John Paznokas.