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A Biology Teacher

Caroline Crocker

  • PhD. in Immunopharmacology, University of Southampton
  • Instructor at George Mason University


“It’s an infringement of academic freedom,” Crocker told Nature, speaking about the university’s decision that she not be allowed to present intelligent design or criticisms of evolution. “My goal is to teach students to think for themselves.”

Reassigned, Shown the Door

Dr. Caroline Crocker taught second-year cell biology at George Mason University, and received exceptional student reviews. As part of the unit on evolution, she usually brought up intelligent design and criticisms of evolutionary theory.

At the end of the fall semester in 2004, her supervisor told her she would be suspended from teaching that class and reassigned to labs due to her presentation of intelligent design. Crocker had not even covered the unit on evolution (or mentioned intelligent design) that semester due to time constraints.

Crocker made clear to her supervisor that she would not teach intelligent design again — but he refused to rescind his decision. When her contract expired in 2005, George Mason did not renew it.