Darwinist society snubs Louisiana over "academic freedom" law
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / LA Coalition for Science / http://lasciencecoalition.org
National Scientific Society to Boycott Louisiana over LA Science Education Act
Baton Rouge, LA, February 13, 2009 — The first tangible results of the Louisiana legislature’s passage and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signing of the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act have materialized, and these results are negative both for the state’s economy and national reputation. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, a national scientific society with more than 2300 members, has put Gov. Bobby Jindal on notice that the society will not hold its annual meetings in Louisiana as long as the LA Science Education Act is on the books. In a February 5, 2009, letter to the governor that is posted on the SICB website under the headline, “No Thanks, New Orleans,” SICB Executive Committee President Richard Satterlie tells Jindal that “The SICB executive committee voted to hold its 2011 meeting in Salt Lake City because of legislation SB 561, which you signed into law in June 2008. It is the firm opinion of SICB’s leadership that this law undermines the integrity of science and science education in Louisiana.” [NOTE: Although the legislation was introduced as SB 561, it was renumbered during the legislative process and passed as SB 733.]
The SICB's letter to Jindal says,
We will not hold the Society's 2011 annual meeting in New Orleans even though the city has been a popular venue of us in the past . . .
"Popular venue in the past"? Of the Society's past annual meetings since 1960, only three were held in Louisiana (New Orleans) -- in 1976, 1987, and 2004.
IMO the SICB is farting against thunder -- Jindal probably doesn't care whether the SICB holds annual meetings in Louisiana or not. Almost all states have cities with facilities that are capable of hosting big conventions, so Louisiana's chance of being selected for any particular convention is slim anyway, and relatively few organizations are likely to join the boycott. Also, this attempted boycott by scientific organizations is likely to backfire -- anti-evolution organizations are likely to try to counteract the boycott by specially selecting Louisiana as a site for their conventions.