Science has enjoyed unprecedented public support for the past half century. Now, in the face of increasing loss of biodiversity and continuing environmental degradation, there are serious questions regarding renewal of the endangered species laws, passage of environmental legislation, and surprisingly, in this new millennium, a successful campaign based on fear and misinformation has revived an anti-evolution sentiment. Organized support for legislative science appropriations, curricular reforms and enhancement of the image of science and scientists is well developed in chemistry, physics, geology, the medical sciences and molecular biology. In organismal and integrative biology, advocacy of the field comes primarily from individuals and volunteer committees. Although the latter are important and significant activities, this ad hoc advocacy means that effective, full time, coordinated, professional public advocacy for our fields is minimal. To be effective at this critical time, we have to empower our professional societies to commit to such public advocacy or face continuing erosion of public and governmental support.

Key words: anti-evolution, biodiversity, legislative challenges, public advocacy, science and public policy