Presentation by Dr. Jacob Russell and Dr. Lloyd Ackert on June 9, 2017
While science is a discipline that strives to uncover the inner-workings of the natural world, the teaching of science has not been immune to ideological influence. In today’s talk, Dr. Lloyd Ackert and Dr. Jacob Russell will discuss evolution from both a contemporary scientific and historical perspective, introducing the science of evolution and its relationship to ideology, religion and politics. They will also emphasize how these topics can be integrated into the undergraduate classroom, while addressing the battle to keep ideologically motivated pseudoscience out of America’s schools.
Dr. Lloyd Ackert is an Associate Teaching Professor, in the Department of History and Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University. Lloyd earned a BA in the interdisciplinary major involving the history of science, evolutionary biology, and Russian language and area studies. He specializes in History of Science with a focus on the biological sciences (microbiology, soil science) especially in the Russian and European contexts. He teaches courses on the ‘History of Evolutionary Thought,’ ‘Darwinian Revolution,’ ‘Russian/Soviet History,’ and ‘History of Science.’ His recent biography of Sergei Winogradsky and the Cycle of Life investigates the relationships between holistic thought, laboratory science, and their social context.
Dr. Jacob Russell, PhD is an Associate Professor at Drexel University with joint appointments in the Department of Biology and the Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science. Jacob earned a BS in Molecular Genetics at the University of Rochester and got his PhD from the University of Arizona. His research focuses on symbiosis and microbiomes, and he is particularly interested in how animals and their microbes have evolved together in both beneficial and antagonistic ways. Jacob teaches evolution all of his courses, including those focused on Bioinformatics and Genomics, with the aim of helping students to understand just how and why our genomes change over time.