John Rennie, editor of Scientific American, has blogged an interesting piece on his experience at a meeting with university presidents. Rennie was disappointed at the evasive answers that the presidents gave to his questions, but I was glad to see that Rennie, and also Ira Flato, were actively sticking up for science. Rennie also puts his finger on the kind of thing that would really make university presidents pay attention to evolution education: biotech. One of the few forces that could substantially change the current dynamics of the evolution/creationism controversy would be biotech companies realizing that it is their ox that gets gored if evolution is cut out of the schools or diluted with pseudoscience. “Reading” the human genome would be almost totally impossible without the lab organisms – fruit flies, mice, zebrafish, etc. – that are related to humans to various degrees. Uneducated students will be less likely to enter the highly educated biotech workforce, and an uneducated public will be less likely to support the government research dollars that produce the basic research upon which biotech rests. Why bother with the chimp genome, if humans aren’t any more related to chimps than anything else?