Andrew Petto

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee — Milwaukee, WI

Andrew Petto is a science educator and currently teaches anatomy and physiology at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His bachelor's degree is in Sociology and Anthropology followed by 2 years of post-baccalaureate studies in biology and chemistry. His PhD is in Biological Anthropology, and he completed post-doctoral studies in primate behavioral biology at the New England Regional Primate Research Center at Harvard Medical School and in primate ecology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He began teaching undergraduate courses in 1981 and has taught anthropology, human evolution, primatology , and human anatomy and physiology at several colleges and universities in the US and Canada. He came to UArts in 1998 to assume responsibility for the undergraduate science program where he also taught a course that explores pseudoscientific ideas. After completing that project, he returned to UW to continue working with K–12 science teachers and to teach anatomy and physiology.

Dr. Petto served as both program director and instructional staff for programs in comparative anatomy, human evolution, wildlife, and Internet-based resource-sharing for teachers. One enduring component of these efforts is the Callicam — an Internet-based resource for teaching about marmosets and practicing the study of animal behavior in real time.

Since 1996, Dr. Petto has taught in enrichment programs for advanced secondary students (6–12) at the University of Wisconsin College of Medicine. He has been involved in multicultural science teaching programs and activities and has directed workshops on integrated, multidisciplinary teaching in the sciences. Since 1994, he has served on the board of directors at the National Center for Science Education and became the NCSE editor in 1995.

During that time he has written, solicited, and published numerous articles on the acceptance and understanding of science — especially evolutionary theory — among the general public and in various Christian denominations active in the US. He is co-editor, with Laurie R. Godfrey of the forthcoming Scientists Confront Creationism, revised edition, to be published by WW Norton, Inc. His contribution to that volume is a chapter on the current calls by evolutionist opponents to "teach the controversy" about evolution under the guise of promoting "critical thinking." Dr. Petto has been active in supporting state science education standards by advising writing committees and staff members in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Ohio. He also serves as a curriculum advisor on evolution to the Western Cape Education Department, South Africa.

Topic(s): Biology, Education, Sociology & Anthropology

Sub-topic(s): Evolution, Science education