bit like it is a different message from the excitement born of controversy, and I wonder if you would comment on that and specifically with respect to female students?
Response: Dr. Linn: Thank you very much for asking that question. I think that is really important, and that was part of the pedagogical content knowledge that the teachers needed to work out because they wanted to provide a window on science in the making. They wanted students to be linking and connecting ideas, to be considering alternatives, and to be asking each other questions. One of the things that they worked out was a system where, for every presentation, all the students in the class needed to write a question down, and then they gave all those questions to the person who made the presentation.
So, everybody was treated the same, and everybody felt like, you know, this is part of science rather than, “Oh, my God, somebody is going to ask me a question. I won't know the answer. I don't want to take a risk,” and it is also true that we encourage students to use an on-line discussion where they could participate anonymously, and both boys and girls, actually equally often chose to be anonymous.
So, I agree with you. I think actually the issue here is, as one philosopher described it, that science in the making is a seething conversation and what we want to do is to communicate the excitement of that, the fact that it is a sustained reasoning process, and that it is okay to revise and rethink your ideas. Right now that is very rare in the science classroom.
Participant: Yes, my comment is for Dr. Richard Tapia. I really appreciated your comments. As a Ph.D. student in chemistry, everything you said strongly resonated with my experience, and I think that you are correct. The missing link, in this whole equation, is the mentorship that is necessary to bring minorities and women into science, and my question is what incentives can universities put in place to make mentorship an integral part of the educational experience?
Response: Dr. Tapia: I appreciate your comments, and right now the National Science Foundation, and I am on the National Science Board, we realize that, and what we are trying to do is make the department a focal unit. At Rice, I could tell you three departments that are socalled “good” departments and three departments that are “bad” departments (and you could guess which ones they are) and I have tried to get our administration— our deans, our provost, and our president—to reward those departments for that activity. Our department, which takes a strong lead, and the individuals in that department have been very strongly rewarded.
So, they put this in alignment. In other words, the reward system is now in alignment with the mission statements that presidents often say, and so I am saying that at the National Science Foundation and within the university those departments that do good jobs, and notice as I said before, not everybody has to do the same thing, but look at the unit and say, “You will be rewarded.”
We have been extremely well rewarded and treated well, and it was started by some of our