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Jason Wiles

syracuse-university-scientist-speak-evolution-and-islam-aaas-annual-meeting-2030Dr. Jason Wiles grew up in Arkansas and earned his first degree in biology (with a minor in Bible) at Harding University where, at the time, evolution was largely absent from the curriculum. He went on to earn master’s degrees in both biology and geosciences, both heavy on evolutionary evidence and theory. After having taught biology and other sciences at a number of colleges, universities, and institutions of secondary education for several years, he recognized that a great many students had similar misconceptions and related difficulties in learning about biology that were rooted in a misunderstanding of evolution, whether or not these barriers were based on religious beliefs. Given his own personal experience, and given the centrality of evolution to a deep understanding of the life and Earth sciences, Wiles was motivated to learn more about the teaching and learning of evolution. He eventually earned a Ph.D. at McGill University focusing on evolution education, and serves as the Assistant Director of McGill’s Evolution Education Research Centre. He joined the faculty in the Biology Department at Syracuse University in 2008 and enjoys secondary appointments in the Departments of Science Teaching and Earth Sciences at Syracuse. His research has since expanded to include overcoming obstacles to teaching about climate change and increasing diversity among students choosing careers in science fields.