Monday, December 31, 2007

Advice: Part 1

I recently sent an email to Steve Novella, but before I get to its contents I must make a request. The link I just gave is to Steve's recently created Wikipedia page. I'm one of only a few editors giving it a go on that article, and I could use some assistance.
You can help if you

  1. Read this blog (how else would you be reading this?)
  2. Listen to the Skeptics' Guide
  3. Edit Wikipedia.
Yes, we can use you. Go!

On to the email. After informing him of his new Wikipedification I asked Dr. Novella if he had any advice to a new skeptical organization. Of course he did. A lot, in fact, some of which Ben and I had come up with on our own, but much of which was fresh. Over several posts I plan to act on or research this advice.

In this, the first of my series, I tackle this charge:
Keep on the lookout for any local controversies - like pushing ID into the school system.
Anyone who is from St. Louis will know that, as a first action, this is a copout. The St. Louis City public school system is probably not going to fall to ID any time soon, because they've got a lot of other things on their minds. This article from today's Post-Dispatch gives a good summary of the situation. Thus, there's really no work for me to do. The St. Louis City schools really want to get accredited again, so they'll probably not concern themselves with bold new science curricula. I don't see them sticking their necks out over ID when the elected board was stripped of its powers and a new interim board was appointed by the governor. That's why it's a copout: I know it won't happen. No work required.

Still, I'll keep my eye on the situation. Perhaps some district in the county or in St. Charles will try something, and then I'll be able to follow through with the rest of Steve's advice on the topic.
You should be all over that with press releases and op-eds in the local papers. Make yourselves as visible as possible.
Rest assured that if anything on the ID front does stir in my neighborhood, we'll be [one of] the first to break it.