Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

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Academic Freedom/Free Speech NEWS

Encouraging Students to Speak Out About Academic Freedom, Evolution and Intelligent Design

On Charles Darwin's 200th birthday (February 12, 2009), students everywhere can speak out against censorship and stand up for free speech by defending the right to debate the evidence for and against evolution. Let's turn Darwin Day into Academic Freedom Day.
As regular ENV readers are aware, we just launched the grassroots Academic Freedom Day campaign. Our goal is to transform the bicentennial of Darwin's birth on Feb. 12, 2009 from an uncritical celebration venerating Darwin to a day that highlights the need for academic freedom to debate the evidence for and against Darwinism. As a follow-up to the release of Expelled this year, we want to continue to raise awareness of efforts by Darwinists to stifle scientific inquiry at all levels, and we want people to sign the Academic Freedom Petition. The centerpiece of our campaign is the website www.academicfreedomday.com.

Announcing the Academic Freedom Video & Essay Contest
Darwin once wrote,

A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.
That famous quote will be the touchstone for students to communicate their support for academic freedom to explore the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution. The video and essay contest is open to high school and college students and will be judged based on creativity, accuracy, and persuasiveness. One grand-prize winner will be announced and have his or her entry officially unveiled at academicfreedomday.com on Academic Freedom Day, Feb. 12th 2008. For details on entering the contest, go to: www.academicfreedomday.com/actUp.php.

We need your help in promoting the contest to ensure that as many students as possible hear about it and are able to participate.

Here are five things that you can do to help us promote the Academic Freedom Day Video & Essay Contest:

1) If you have a blog or podcast, consider making an announcement there as well. And please include a link to the AFD page: www.academicfreedomday.com. For web ads, graphics, screenshots, flyers and logos, go here.

2) If you have a Myspace or Facebook page, please post a brief announcement about the contest and a link to the Academic Freedom Day (AFD) page: www.academicfreedomday.com. If you'd like to post a video, you can e-mail us (academicfreedom@discovery.org) and we can get you the code for embedding the Ben Stein Special Message on Academic Freedom video. It's short, about 2 minutes long, and asks people to sign the academic freedom petition. You'll also want to include a link to the AFD website along with that.

3) If you belong to any listservs, online forums, or discussion groups, please consider sending an announcement to them as well. We can provide you with text if you'd like, as well as a press release that you can share. E-mail academicfreedom@discovery.org for more information.

4) Please alert any students you come into contact with. If you teach, maybe you can make an announcement in class, or put up a poster at your school somewhere. See if your school has a student newsletter or website that allows people submit general announcements. Or if you attend church, maybe you could alert the youth groups there about the contest. And posting flyers in libraries and other public meeting areas is a great way to get the word out. We have posters, flyers, bulletin inserts, bookmarks, email text, and power point slides available for download here.

5) Finally, the easiest thing would be to e-mail your friends and family and suggest they help to spread the word. You can send these suggestions to them as well.

With your assistance we can help educate students about academic freedom and free scientific inquiry. Help us turn Darwin Day into Academic Freedom Day!