The company responsible for the documentary on global climate change An Inconvenient Truth is offering to send 50,000 free copies of the DVD to science teachers.
The teachers turned them down.
At least that’s the story being told by one of the producers of the film.
Actually, it’s the administrators of the National Science Teachers Association who rejected the offer for what could be some very good reasons.
They were worried that other “special interest” groups might want to do the same thing, which is actually legitimate.
The NSTA also said they didn’t want to be seen as giving a “political endorsement” to the movie and that they saw “little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members”. That’s debatable.
Oh, and one more reason.
Still, maybe the NSTA just being extra cautious. But there was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place “unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.” One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp.
Despite what the leaders of the NSTA believe, I’d bet a majority of the science teachers who pay for the organization would love to get a free copy of this movie.
More importantly, however, it’s disappointing that a group representing science educators is putting their own political considerations above an opportunity to grab the attention of students with a well-produced, high profile, and scientifically accurate discussion of an important scientific issue.