Over two years ago Tiffany and I came up with Prof. Steve Steve to be the champion of science and science education in the stead of the departed Stephen Jay Gould. He serves as the official/unofficial mascot of NCSE, citizens for science groups, the Talk Origins Foundation (including The Panda’s Thumb), and science lovers everywhere.
He has been around the world, to multiple scientific conferences, rafting down the grand canyon (twice), to the headquarters of ICISD, to North Pole to meet Santa Claus, an expert in the Dover Trial, a voice of reason at the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt, fossil-hunting in New Mexico, fought pirates in Minnesota, and dinosaurs in Berkeley.
Recently he popped up at AIG’s spanking new museum to ignorance, and the BBC has the story: “Creationist museum challenges evolution.”
As we prepare to leave [AIG’s museum], Eugenie Scott quietly slips a panda glove puppet from her handbag and photographs it among the dinosaurs.
It is introduced to me as Professor Steve Steve. Creationists are fond of lists of “scientists who doubt Darwin”.
Many thousands more support evolution, but rather than play the same game, Eugenie has parodied the lists by concentrating on scientists named Steve (Stephanies are also eligible).
So far, more than 700 have signed up. Their mascot is a panda because of a notorious creationist text entitled “Of Pandas and People”.
Steve was picked in honour of the late evolutionary biologist Stephen J Gould. Steve Steve because—well, all pandas have double names.
Actually, Prof. Steve Steve is a panda because of the title for our group blog: The Panda’s Thumb, which is the title of a SJG book. Of Pandas and People was involved with the decision, but not as directly as PT.
More Prof. Steve Steve Links:
- Prof. Steve Steve’s personal website: prof.stevesteve.org
- Prof. Steve Steve’s (incomplete) photo gallery
- Prof. Steve Steve’s posts on PT
- Prof. Steve Steve’s MySpace page
- Prof. Steve Steve’s Fan Club on FaceBook
P.S. I need to note that Ed Brayton deserves credit for suggesting that we use a double name, which is considered cute in China, and thus most zoo pandas have one.