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BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (2003)

Chapter: Appendix A: Charge to the Committee

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
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Appendixes

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
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A
Charge to the Committee

The project will examine the formal undergraduate education, training, and experience required to prepare the next generation of life scientists. An important goal of the project is to identify fundamental skills in mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and engineering that could be integrated into an undergraduate major in the life sciences to assist future scientists in making novel interdisciplinary connections. The report will emphasize preparing students for biomedical research, but will also evaluate preparation for other life science disciplines such as plant biology, population and evolutionary biology, and behavior and cognitive sciences. Case studies will be generated to provide suggestions for implementing reforms at both universities and four-year colleges.

Specific subjects to be addressed in the study will include:

  1. How will biology research be conducted in the future?

  2. What fundamental skills and knowledge are needed by undergraduates to prepare them to excel as biological research scientists?

  3. How are those skills and knowledge best conveyed? What are reasonable objectives for undergraduate education?

  4. What elements of mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and engineering will assist students in making novel interdisciplinary connections?

  5. To what extent can these skills and knowledge be taught in the context of central issues in biology?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
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  1. Should these skills and concepts be acquired through a restructuring of biology courses or through a broadening of the content and structure of courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics?

  2. To the extent that portions of the desired curriculum are better treated in academic departments outside the life sciences, what are the best practices for collaborating with faculty in those departments to achieve mutually agreeable goals?

  3. What institutional barriers to collaboration exist and how have they been addressed in successful cases of curricular change? What incentives exist or might be created to overcome barriers to change?

  4. What innovative programs for teaching life science majors have been developed, and what can be learned from those programs?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
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Page 121
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
×
Page 122
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
×
Page 123
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2003. BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10497.
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Page 124
Next: Appendix B: Biographical Information on Committee Members »
BIO2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists Get This Book
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Biological sciences have been revolutionized, not only in the way research is conducted -- with the introduction of techniques such as recombinant DNA and digital technology -- but also in how research findings are communicated among professionals and to the public. Yet, the undergraduate programs that train biology researchers remain much the same as they were before these fundamental changes came on the scene.

This new volume provides a blueprint for bringing undergraduate biology education up to the speed of today’s research fast track. It includes recommendations for teaching the next generation of life science investigators, through:

  • Building a strong interdisciplinary curriculum that includes physical science, information technology, and mathematics.
  • Eliminating the administrative and financial barriers to cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Evaluating the impact of medical college admissions testing on undergraduate biology education.
  • Creating early opportunities for independent research.
  • Designing meaningful laboratory experiences into the curriculum.

The committee presents a dozen brief case studies of exemplary programs at leading institutions and lists many resources for biology educators. This volume will be important to biology faculty, administrators, practitioners, professional societies, research and education funders, and the biotechnology industry.

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