According to a recent Washington Post editorial, producers of Al Gore’s documentary on global warming “An Inconvenient Truth” wanted to give 50,000 free DVDs to the National Science Teachers Association for distribution to schools as an educational tool, but their offer was turned down.
In her editorial, Laurie David, one of the film’s producers, says this decision was based largely on the NSTA’s connection with the ExxonMobil Corp., which has given funds to the association. Ms. David writes that “through textbooks, classroom posters and teacher seminars, the oil industry, the coal industry and other corporate interests are exploiting shortfalls in education funding by using a small slice of their record profits to buy themselves a classroom soapbox.”
In response to the editorial, NSTA Executive Director Gerald Wheeler released a statement countering Ms. David’s characterization of the NSTA “as a willing corporate America partner that eagerly pushes corporate messages about the environment.” The science group’s policies prohibit it from endorsing any product and thus passing out a DVD, writes Mr. Wheeler.
What do you think? Did the NSTA make the right decision in choosing not to distribute “An Inconvenient Truth”?
A version of this news article first appeared in the TalkBack blog.