departments meet requirements. They see the flexibility as a necessary response to today’s chemistry, which is more broad-based than in the past. ACS is focusing on providing more options for individual students and for institutions while maintaining the same level of rigor and expertise. Flexibility can be hampered by faculty who act as if they are slaves to textbooks. To provide the options discussed here will require new formats of textbooks. For example, Marc Loudon mentioned the new option of ordering certain chapters of a larger book directly from the publisher, who will assemble a packet specifically for a course. This allows professors to choose the modules they want. Ron Breslow pointed out that this is easier for general chemistry than for organic.
Most sciences have a national organization that deals with many special concerns of the field. Biology is in an unusual position—the various divisions of biology have their own national organizations, and only the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) speaks for all. But FASEB does not perform many of the central functions that are common for national organizations in other sciences. For example, the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training is concerned with examining and improving the education and training received by undergraduate and graduate students in chemistry. FASEB has no such committee.
Because biology has no committee on professional education and training, the Bio2010 Committee has been formed on a one-time basis to address biology education, including the amount and type of chemistry education that biology students need. The current ad hoc committee is not an adequate substitute for a continuing body with the responsibility to monitor and recommend the content of education programs for biology students. Thus, the panel saw a need for FASEB to become a more substantial national body, and, in particular, that it form a Committee on Education and Training to function on a continuing basis, as the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training does in chemistry.
What are the trends going horizontally?
What are the trends going vertically?