Well, I've got some publicity, and (sigh) I'm unsatisfied. The Fresno Bee featured me as one of their regular letter writers, and two things happened that I wish didn't in the write-up:

1) The letter they chose to quote from was an anomaly, one of the few letters I've written that didn't have something to do with science education, albeit it was from an item I featured on my blog here.

2) They omitted a clause that mentioned Cafe Scientifique as an example of a science education that 'doesn't get much attention.' This was especially disappointing.

Still, as they say, any publicity is good publicity. Perhaps I can still use this as a way of talking of science education and Valley Cafe Sci.


Upon re-reading this, I think I should say something about my attitude regarding science. It's just this: I'm shameless for science, a real publicity whore. If I thought I could put just a few thousand dollars more in my local high school science budget, I'd wear a clown suit and have people throw eggs at me if that's what it took. So, the reason why I'm disappointed in the way the above article read is that it really isn't about me, it should be about promoting science education, public awareness of, and greater funding for---SCIENCE!

So, with that in mind, here's the copy I actually submitted to the Bee's questionnaire with the expurgated parts highlighted:

Name: Scott Hatfield

Age: 45

Occupation: Science Instructor with Fresno Unified (Bullard High)

Hobbies: music (currently working on a CD), baseball, blogging

Bee reader since: 1980

How many letters published: (I will get this number.)

Favorite topics: science, education, religion

Why do you write? "Today, more than any other point in human history, economic growth and social progress depend upon an understanding of science. Scientific illiteracy threatens all of us, but people of faith (like me!) are especially vulnerable to exploitation based on pseudoscience. We all have a stake in ensuring that our society promotes and acts upon real science, based upon evidence. If scientists and science teachers don't speak up, who will?"

Excerpt from recent letter: (I will also get this one.)

Reaction to your letters: It runs the gamut from unconditional support to (usually, but not always anonymous) messages questioning my religious convictions and threatening my employment. I love responding to those!

Topic that doesn't get enough attention: Science education is in crisis nationally: funding is poor, qualified teachers increasingly hard to find, and poorly-framed laws like NCLB are not helping. The scientific community has been slow to react to this crisis, and community outreaches like Cafe Scientifique are needed to address the lack of public support that is strangling science education.

Education: B.A., Natural Sciences (CSU Fresno)

Family: My wife still brings a smile to my lips after 11 years of marriage and (between the two of us) five boys. There's never a dull moment!

Political philosophy: Social liberal, economic?---eh, not-so-much. Equal-opportunity critic of politicians who only give lip-service to science.

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