Evolutionary theory expert Ron Wetherington, an SMU professor of anthropology and director of the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence, has received the 2009 Grassroots Hero Award from the Texas Freedom Network (TFN). Wetherington will accept the award April 16 at a ceremony in Dallas.
TFN presents the award each year to “a dedicated individual who exemplifies our work to stand up for science.”
Wetherington’s research interests include population genetics, human paleontology, science pedagogy and the historical archaeology of the U.S. Southwest.
Within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in human evolution and forensic anthropology, as well as a noncredit required course for departmental graduate students, “Learning to Teach – Teaching to Learn.”
Wetherington is the author of “Understanding Human Evolution” (West Publishing, 1992) and four other books on anthropology and archaeology.
The TFN award citation points to Wetherington’s service during 2008-09 as an expert reviewer appointed by the Texas State Board of Education to evaluate new science curriculum standards.
“Whether working behind the scenes to patiently educate board members or in front of the cameras making a vocal case for science standards free from creationist ideology, Dr. Wetherington has worked tirelessly to ensure Texas students have a rigorous science curriculum that will prepare them for the 21st century,” TFN states.