Joseph McInerney is director emeritus of the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics and a former director of the Colorado-based Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). His focus has been the development of textbooks and other educational programs in human genetics, genetic medicine, and evolution for audiences ranging from K-12 students and teachers to physicians and other health professionals.
During his 35 years devoted to those tasks McInerney has grappled with issues ranging from the definition of scientific literacy for the public to the integration of genetics into education and mainstream practice for clinicians. BSCS put evolution back into the high school biology curriculum following a three-decade absence in the wake of the 1925 Scopes Trial. McInerney's 22 years with the organization involved him directly in the never-ending evolution/creation controversy and sharpened his interests in conceptual and policy issues related to science and religion and the separation of church and state.
McInerney, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, received his MS in human genetics and genetic counseling from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a former member of the editorial board of the Quarterly Review of Biology, and a recipient of the Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education, from the American Society of Human Genetics.