The end of an era: Nick Matzke leaves NCSE

Everyone say, "Bye Nick. We'll miss you."
Nick was the wizard behind the curtain at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in 2005 and has been Public Information Project Director at the National Center for Science Education (links to their farewell). He lined up so much material for the prosecution and made sure that they had their ducks in a row. Had he not been there, it might not have gone so well. To quote Matthew Chapman, Darwin's great-great-grandson,

"The NCSE staffer initially assigned to the Dover flare-up, he now briefed the lawyers on the arcane ins and outs of science. Bespectacled, in his thirties, he was tall and large and peered down at you with a look of beleaguered doubt, as if to say, 'You're asking me this question about science, but you know and I know that you're not going to understand my answer, so, although I find this stuff fascinating, wouldn't you really rather go for a beer?'"

When I went to the last day of the trial I got to chat for a few minutes with him and Wesley Elsberry after the closing arguments. They were so excited and rightly so. Scott Minnich had just been picked apart on the stand, the Dover board had been made to look like fools, Of Pandas and People was shown to be not only pseudoscience but relabelled creationism, William Dembski and Stephen Meyer failed to show up, and Michael Behe had been forced to admit that the new definition he proposed to ensconce ID as science would make astrology into science. What wasn't there to celebrate about? But Nick kept it pretty cool and was eager to chat with people including me, a lowly reporter for Voices.
I wish Nick the best of luck as he proceeds to his doctoral studies in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley.

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