Mendenhall Lecture at DePauw

GREENCASTLE, Ind. (DePauw) – Michael Zimmerman, a science writer and professor of biology at Butler University, will present the Mendenhall Lecture at DePauw University on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Zimmerman will address the topic, “The Evolution of Creationist Strategies: 150 Years of Battling Evolution” in his address. It begins at 7:30 p.m. in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Simpson Street in Greencastle. The program is free and open to the public.

Zimmerman recently completed a three-year term as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler. He received his Ph.D. in ecology from Washington University in St. Louis (1979) after earning an A.B. degree in geography from the University of Chicago (1974). As an ecologist, Zimmerman has focused his attention on plant-animal interactions, particularly those associated with pollination. His field work in Colorado and Australia has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the American Philosophical Society, among others.

Zimmerman also has a professional interest in science literacy in general and the evolution-creation controversy in particular. He has conducted survey research of various groups (college students, high school teachers, school board presidents, managing editors of newspapers and elected officials) to determine how widespread is the acceptance of pseudoscience actually. As a newspaper columnist specializing on scientific and environmental issues, Zimmerman’s work (some of which is syndicated through The Los Angeles Times Syndicate) has appeared regularly on the op-ed pages of many newspapers nationwide. He recently was recruited to write for The Huffington Post. His book reviews on similar topics frequently appear in Publishers Weekly and The Indianapolis Star.

He has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also is past editor of the Newsletter of the Ohio Center for Science Education. Finally, he is the founder of the Clergy Letter Project, an international organization of more than 13,000 religious leaders and scientists designed to demonstrate that religion and science are compatible.

Zimmerman’s book, Science, Nonscience, and Nonsense: Approaching Environmental Literacy, was published in 1995 by Johns Hopkins University Press. A paperback version was released two years later.

DePauw’s Mendenhall Lectures, inaugurated in 1913, were endowed by the Rev. Dr. Marmaduke H. Mendenhall. His desire was to enable the University to bring to campus “persons of high and wide repute, of broad and varied scholarship” to address issues related to the academic dialogue concerning Christianity.