One of the key roles of EvoKE is to bring together the various stakeholders in evolution to collaborate on different projects concerning evolution education and research.
Evolution: attitudes & understanding across Europe
This project aims to measure attitudes towards evolution and the understanding of evolutionary processes across Europe (and maybe beyond). Until now, such data is only sparsely available and often cannot be compared so that the first goal is to develop a detailed, but short questionnaire that can be used in every single country to provide directly comparable data.
The initial focus group will be students enrolling in university education (and in diverse disciplines) because the fact that they have all finished secondary education makes them one of the most comparable groups across countries. In addition, given that – apart from students enrolled in biology-related disciplines in higher education – most students only learn about evolution during secondary education, this group is of special interest for educational issues of the general public.
Tentative research questions include:
- What is the knowledge about evolution in university freshmen across Europe?
- What are the attitudes about evolution in university freshmen across Europe?
- How do participants of different countries differ concerning their attitudes and knowledge?
- What is the relation between knowledge and attitudes?
- Which other factors explain differences in acceptance and understanding of evolution between countries?
Our team consists of more than eleven people from nine different European countries (Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Turkey, Portugal and Sweden). Furthermore, there are several EvoKE-participants who want to help distributing the questionnaire in their countries. That is already a huge outreach. Nevertheless, we are always happy to welcome new group members and/or people who want to conduct the survey in their country. Countries in southeast Europe are especially underrepresented at the moment.
Let’s make a collection of the best, craziest, funniest, strangest, and most loved evolutionary stories.
Stories enchant us. They grasp our interest and inspire us. We as human beings perceive, interpret ,and structure the world through stories. When we teach and when we talk to friends and family,, we often reach for stories to share our excitement about evolution. Biology and especially evolution can be considered as “the story of life”: a great story that consists of many small independent and, at the same time ,connected stories of strange adaptations, unusual creatures, unexpected behaviors, inspired experiments, and unexpected observations. Some of these stories are textbook examples (e.g., the peppered moth), some are published in scientific papers, and some are known only to specialists, whereas others exist only in oral tradition. The goal of the “Evo-stories” project is to collect all such stories to make them available to a broad audience, from evolution teachers to students to the general public. So, what is your favourite evo-story?
Learn what you can do with DNA technology
Technology for analysis and manipulating DNA is advancing at a rapid pace with the results increasingly affecting our daily lives. DNA can be used to diagnose and treat disease, to increase the nutritional value of food, or to catch criminals. At the LeveDNA! foundation (NB: website is in Dutch only) we hope to increase people’s understanding of what DNA is, how it works, and what it can be used for.
Mind the Lab
Science and Technology travel by metro
Imagine you are walking into a metro station and you see scientific experiments, technological applications and games going on! This is the idea behind Mind the Lab, which was first rolled out in Athens in 2017 and aims to travel around the world in 2018! Although not restricted to evolution outreach, this is certainly an application of Mind the Lab, which, like EvoKE, aims to increase to science literacy in general. As soon as new exhibitions are planned, they will be listed here! Or just check out their website …