, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 74-76
Date: 21 Nov 2007

Interview of Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education. Interview conducted by Mick Wycoff

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  1. We see that you joined NCSE as Executive Director in 1987. What can you tell us about the early history of NCES and of your history there?

    The early history of NCSE, as far as I am concerned, was pretty hectic “on-the-job training”. I was hired because I had good communication skills, and because I knew the creationism and evolution controversy, and also because, with the Ph.D., I had the academic credibility to deal with the base of our membership, which is college-level scientists. But I didn’t know anything about running a small business, I didn’t know anything about nonprofit accounting, I didn’t know anything about payrolls, I didn’t know anything about the IRS regulations governing nonprofits, I didn’t know anything about fundraising—you name it, I didn’t know it. But I learned.

    We started out with me as the first employee, and I fairly quickly hired a part-time secretary. Next came a part-time bookkeeper and we gradually added more staff after that. Our two periods of major staf ...