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Expert panel to guide science-textbook revisions in South Korea

Posted on behalf of Soo Bin Park.

In response to a public outcry after Nature’s story on the removal of examples of evolution from high-school biology textbooks, South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will set up a panel to oversee future revisions of science textbooks.

“We were busy with taking care of the civil complaints all day by phone,” says Ka-young Shin, an official from the ministry. “We are expecting more petitions and calls from the evolutionists and creationists regarding this issue in the future, so a committee of evolutionary scientists will set up guidelines for the future revision of science textbooks.”

But Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University who is organizing a group of experts to counter the creationist campaign, says that although he has received expressions of support from abroad, many local scientists do not know how serious the battle is. “Only a few scientists came to me voluntarily wanting to join me. I had to go to each scientist one by one,” says Jang. “A majority of them never heard of what’s going on or how serious this is. Even if they know about it, it goes in one ear and out the other,” says Jang with a sigh.

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