Dr. Brian Alters

Dr. Brian Alters

Attallah College of Educational Studies
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Biological Sciences
Expertise: Evolution Education; Science education; Charles Darwin; Walt Disney;
Office Location: Reeves Hall
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
University of Southern California, Bachelor of Science
University of Southern California, Ph.D.


  • Simultaneous international appointments at Chapman, McGill, and Harvard universities.
  • Director (and Founder), Evolution Education Research Center. 2001 - present
  • President, Board of Directors, National Center for Science Education (NCSE). 2012
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Biological Science section. 2012
  • National Medal -- McNeil Medal – from the Royal Society of Canada (equivalent to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences). Awarded to one individual annually “who has demonstrated outstanding ability to promote and communicate science to students and public nationally.”  2009
  • TV Host of a prime-time, nationally-broadcast, commercial television series viewed by millions.  Project X, a PBS-like science magazine show with the mandate to educate the public about science, airs on CBC, BBC, and PBS stations. 2008
  • Expert Witness in U.S. Federal Trial: Dr. Alters was recruited as one-of-six Expert Witnesses in the largest, most important, and highest profile federal trial on science education in the past quarter-century. 2005
  • Held an $8 million endowed Chair and project in Science Education, Faculty of Science, McGill University. 2005-2011.
    $3,255,000 funding ($2,035,000 funded as PI in grants, awards, and contracts; and directing an extra $1.25 million from 2005-2010.)
  • Published 5 books in the past decade on education, science, and religion.
  • Delivered over 300 talks worldwide (e.g., France, Russia, China, Harvard, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Russian Pedagogical University, National Academy of Sciences to the AERA, National Institutes of Health, American Society of Human Genetics, Royal Society of Canada.)
  • Winner of McGill University’s President’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching. 2003 



Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Dorner, MA., Sadler, P., & Alters, B. (2023). Still a private universe? Community college students’ understanding of evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach. 16:1: 1-18.
Dunk, R., Barnes, M., Reiss, M., Alters, B., Asghar, A., Carter, B., Cotner, S., Glase, A., Hawley, P., Jensen, J., Mead, L., Nadelson, L., Southerland, S., Walter, E., Brownell, S., and Wiles, J. (2019). Evolution education is a complex landscape. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3: 327-329.
Asghar, A., Bean, S., O'Neill, W., Alters, B. (2015). Biological evolution in Canadian science curricula. Reports of the National Center for Science Education, 35(5), 1-21.
Alters, B. J. (2013). Letter to the Editor. The American Biology Teacher. 75(6), 369.
Alters, B. & Alters, S. (2011). Biologia in Evoluzione : Funzioni vitali negli animali e nell’uomo. Le Monnier Scuola. 230 pages.
Alters, B. & Alters, S. (2011). Biologia in Evoluzione : DNA ed espressione genica ; Metabolismo cellulare ; Forma e funzione dei viventi. Le Monnier Scuola. 226 pages.
Alters, B. & Alters, S. (2011). Biologia in Evoluzione : Chimica della vita ; Cellula – struttura e funzioni. Le Monnier Scuola. 91 pages.
Alters, B. & Alters, S. (2011). Biologia in Evoluzione : Riproduzione cellulare e leggi della genetica ; Evoluzione ; Interazione tra organismi e ambiente. Le Monnier Scuola. 230 pages.
Wiles, J. & Alters, B. (2011). Effects of an educational experience incorporating an inventory of factors potentially influencing student acceptance of biological evolution. International Journal of Science Education, DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2011.565522, pp. 1-27.
BouJaoude, S., Wiles, J., Asghar, A. & Alters, B. (2011). Muslim Egyptian and Lebanese students’ conceptions of biological evolution.” Science and Education. 20:895-915.
BouJaoude, S., Asghar, A., Wiles, J. R., Jaber, L., Sarieddine, D., and Alters, B. (2011). Biology professors' and teachers' positions regarding biological evolution and evolution education in a Middle Eastern society. International Journal of Science Education, 33, 979-1000.
White, P.J., Delany, D.G., Syncox, D., Oscar, A.A., Alters, B. (2011). Clicker implementation models. EDUCAUSE Quarterly 34(4).
Alters S. & Alters, B. (2010). Biologia in Evoluzione per il 1 biennio dei Licei. Le Monnier Scuola. 94 pages.
BouJaoude, S., Asghar, A., Wiles, J., Jaber, L. Sarieddine, D., & Alters, B. (2010). Biology professors’ and teachers’ positions regarding biological evolution and evolution education in a Middle Eastern society. In M.F. Tasar & G. Çakmakci (Eds.), Contemporary science education research: International perspectives (pp. 195-206). Ankara, Turkey: Pegem Akademi.
Alters, B. (2010). Apprehension and pedagogy in evolution education. Evolution: Education & Outreach, 3:231-235.
White, P., Syncox, D., & Alters, B. (2010). "Clicking for grades? Really? Investigating the use of clickers for awarding grade-points in post-secondary education institutions." Interactive Learning Environments.
Asghar, A., Wiles, J. R., & Alters, B. (2010). The origin and evolution of life in Pakistani high school biology. Journal of Biological Education 42(2): 65-71.
Alters B. & Alters, S. (2009). “Why Should Students Learn Evolution?” in Elvio Angeloni (Ed.), Physical Anthropology, Annual Edition. NY. NY. McGraw Hill. pp. 30-33.
Wiles, J. R., Asghar, A., Alters, B. (2009). Teaching evolution in the Muslim world: A study of Islamic countries and cultures examining curricula, textbooks, and attitudes about biological evolution (Enseñanza de evolución en el mundo Musulmán: Un estudio de países y de culturas Islámicas que examinan planes de estudios, los libros de textos, y las actitudes sobre la evolución biológica). Journal of Science Education 10(Special Issue), 200.