Special to 1812Blockhouse

Ohio State Mansfield’s very own Dr. Tim Berra was recently awarded with a 2022 Friend of Darwin award. Given by the non-profit National Center for Science Education, this award recognizes the recipient’s efforts to support NCSE and the teaching of evolution across the country.

Dr. Berra is an Academy Professor and Professor Emeritus of Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology. This year marks his 50th year with The Ohio State University at Mansfield. Dr. Berra’s career has been an even split of teaching here in Mansfield and research, mostly in Australia. There he has studied many species of fish. His research proved that Murray cod and trout cod were two different species and determining elements of the life cycle of the Australian Grayling.

“I’m 50 percent scientist and 50 percent teacher. I wouldn’t want to give up one for the other. They go together like hand and glove. Teachers need to keep their fingers in the research pie,” Dr. Berra said in a 1972 News Journal article.

Dr. Berra

Dr. Berra is a Professional Fellow at Charles Darwin University and has written over 85 papers and 8 books including Evolution and the Myth of Creationism (1990). His other written works cover Charles Darwin, ichthyology and even bourbon.

“Tim Berra has helped to expose the flaws of creationism going back to the days of creation Science. And in addition to his distinguished ichthyological career, Berra has also contributed to the history of science with a concise biography of Charles Darwin and a biographical study of Darwin’s offspring,” said NCSE Executive Director Ann Reid

This is far from the first honor that Dr. Berra has been awarded. He has received 3 Fulbright Scholarships. The Fulbright Program provides scholarships or grants to American academics so they can study, research or teach abroad.

“I am very pleased to be included among so many prominent scientists, writers, and educators. It is an honor to have my life’s work recognized by my peers as having an impact on scientific literacy,” said Dr. Berra.

A total of three individuals have received the Friend of Darwin award this year. Dr. Berra is joined by Lisa D. White, Director of Education and Outreach at the University of California Museum of Paleontology, and Adam Laats, Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership at Binghamton University and the author of Creationism USA (2020). Dr. Berra spoke highly of his fellow recipients and of those from years prior, even commenting that he had all their books.

Previous winners can be found on NCSE’s website at: https://ncse.ngo/friend-darwin-awards and Dr. Berra himself can be found at https://u.osu.edu/berra.1/.

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