PUBLIC INFORMATION -- The California Science Center (CSC), a public agency, has agreed to settle a lawsuit
with the pro-intelligent design Discovery Institute and release records
that it previously sought to conceal regarding its cancellation of the
screening of a pro-intelligent design film last year, reports Evolution News & Views.
"After months of stonewalling by the Science Center, this is a huge
victory for the publics right to know what their government is doing,
especially when the government engages in illegal censorship and
viewpoint discrimination," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of
Discovery Institutes Center for Science and Culture.
The Science Center continues to "deny any and all liability relating
to the claims," according to the settlement agreement. However, it
agreed to pay Discovery Institutes legal fees and to surrender more
than a thousand pages of documents it had been withholding since they
were requested under the California Public Records Act last year.
Documents to be released relate to the Science Centers cancellation
of a screening of the science documentary Darwins Dilemma in
its IMAX theater by the non-partisan American Freedom Alliance (AFA)
last October. The AFA has filed its own free speech and breach of
contract suit against the Science Center, which is still pending.
Dilemma investigates the intelligent design of organisms during
the "Cambrian Explosion" more than 500 million years ago.
The Science Center claimed that it had turned over all the documents
requested by Discovery Institute, but when Institute staff learned that
this was not true the Institute filed suit to compel full disclosure. In
response, the CSC made the incredible claim that its key
decision-makers, clearly identified as CSC staff on the museums
website, were really employed not by the museum but by a private
foundation and so were immune from the public records request.
"It was an obvious shell game," explained Discovery Institute staff
attorney Casey Luskin. "The California Science Center is a state agency
funded by California taxpayers. The public has a right to expect
transparency, not secrecy, in government institutions. The Science
Centers attempt to evade public accountability for its actions has been