Zimmerman will address the topic "The Evolution of Creationist Strategies: 150 Years of Battling Evolution" in his address, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church. The program is free and open to the public.
Zimmerman recently completed a three-year term as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler. He received his Ph.D. in ecology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1979 after earning an A.B. degree in geography from the University of Chicago in 1974.
As an ecologist, Zimmerman has focused his attention on plant-animal interactions, particularly those associated with pollination.
His field work in montane Colorado and Australian heathland has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture and the American Philosophical Society, among others.
Zimmerman also has a professional interest in science literacy in general and the evolution-creation controversy in particular. He has conducted survey research of various groups (college students, high school teachers, school board presidents, managing editors of newspapers and elected officials) to determine how widespread the acceptance of pseudoscience actually is.
As a newspaper columnist specializing on scientific and environmental issues, Zimmerman's work (some of which is syndicated through the Los Angeles Times Syndicate) has appeared regularly on the op-ed pages of many newspapers nationwide.
He recently was recruited to write for the Huffington Post. His book reviews on similar topics frequently appear in Publishers Weekly and the Indianapolis Star.
He has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also past editor of the Newsletter of the Ohio Center for Science Education. Finally, he is the founder of the Clergy Letter Project, an international organization of more than 13,000 religious leaders and scientists designed to demonstrate that religion and science are compatible.
Zimmerman's book, "Science, Nonscience, and Nonsense: Approaching Environmental Literacy," was published in 1995 by Johns Hopkins University Press. A paperback version was released two years later.
DePauw's Mendenhall Lectures, which were inaugurated in 1913, were endowed by the Rev. Doctor Marmaduke H. Mendenhall. His desire was to enable the University to bring to campus "persons of high and wide repute, of broad and varied scholarship" to address issues related to the academic dialogue concerning Christianity.
Although Mendenhall was a pastor in the North Indiana Annual Conference of what was then called the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the parents of the United Methodist Church, he explicitly dictated that lectures be selected without regard to denominational divisions.
The endowment has allowed DePauw to bring theological and religious scholars of international repute to campus for nearly a century.