Across the Life Sciences
Summary of a Convocation
Steve Olson, Rapporteur
Jay B. Labov, Editor
Planning Committee on Thinking Evolutionarily:
Making Biology Education Make Sense
Board on Life Sciences, Division on Earth and Life Studies
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by the National Academy of Sciences and grants from the Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, a Research Coordination Network/Undergraduate Biology Education Grant from the National Science Foundation to Oklahoma University, and in-kind support from the Carnegie Institution for Science. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences (2012). Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences. Summary of a Convocation. Steve Olson, Rapporteur. Planning Committee on Thinking Evolutionarily: Making Biology Education Make Sense. Board on Life Sciences, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council, and National Academy of Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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PLANNING COMMITTEE ON THINKING EVOLUTIONARILY:
MAKING BIOLOGY EDUCATION MAKE SENSE
CYNTHIA M. BEALL* (Chair), Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University
PAUL BEARDSLEY, Department of Biological Sciences, California Polytechnic University, Pomona
IDA CHOW, Society for Developmental Biology
JAMES P. COLLINS, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
IRENE ECKSTRAND, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health
KRISTIN JENKINS,** Education and Outreach, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
NANCY A. MORAN,* Department of Biology, Yale University
GORDON E. UNO,† Department of Botany and Microbiology, Oklahoma University
JAY B. LABOV, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication and Study Director
CYNTHIA A. WEI, Christine Mirzayan Policy Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
ORIN E. LUKE, Senior Program Assistant
*Member, National Academy of Sciences.
**Current Affiliation: BioQuest.
†Special Consultant to the Organizing Committee.
BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES
KEITH R. YAMAMOTO (Chair), Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology University of California, San Francisco
BONNIE L. BASSLER, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University
VICKI CHANDLER, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
SEAN EDDY, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
MARK D. FITZSIMMONS, MacArthur Fellows Program, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
DAVID R. FRANZ, Midwest Research Institute
LOUIS J. GROSS, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
RICHARD A. JOHNSON, Arnold & Porter, LLP
CATO T. LAURENCIN, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center
ALAN I. LESHNER, American Association for the Advancement of Science
BERNARD LO, Bioethics Program, University of California, San Francisco
ROBERT M. NEREM, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
CAMILLE PARMESAN, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin
MURIEL E. POSTON, Division of Human Resources Development, National Science Foundation
ALISON G. POWER, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
MARGARET RILEY, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts
BRUCE W. STILLMAN, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CYNTHIA WOLBERGER, Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
MARY WOOLLEY, Research!America
FRANCES SHARPLES, Director
KATIE BOWMAN, Senior Program Officer
INDIA HOOK-BARNARD, Senior Program Officer
JO HUSBANDS, Scholar/Senior Project Director
JAY LABOV, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication
KEEGAN SAWYER, Program Officer
MARILEE SHELTON-DAVENPORT, Senior Program Officer
AYESHA AHMED, Senior Program Assistant
CARL-GUSTAV ANDERSON, Program Associate
ORIN LUKE, Senior Program Assistant
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This workshop summary is based on discussions at a convocation that was organized by a committee under the aegis of the Board on Life Sciences of the National Research Council (NRC) and the National Academy of Sciences on October 25-26, 2011. We thank our colleagues who served on the planning committee, each of whom brought critical expertise and perspectives to the planning of the convocation. The planning committee members identified speakers and panelists, helped organize and finalize the agenda, and facilitated discussions during the two breakout sessions. Several committee members also served as panelists during the convocation (see Appendix A). Although the committee was neither tasked with nor contributed to the writing of this summary, this publication clearly reflects its diligent efforts along with the excellent presentations by experts, and the insightful comments of the many participants during the convocation.
This convocation would not have been possible without the generous support of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation through a Research Coordination Network/ Undergraduate Biology Education grant to Oklahoma University (Gordon Uno, Principal Investigator). We thank all of them sincerely. We also thank Dr. Toby Horn, Carnegie Institution for Science, for her role in procuring the facilities of the Carnegie Institution for the convocation and in assisting with logistical planning for the event.
This summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals cho-
sen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The reviewers’ comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this summary:
Clarissa Dirks, The Evergreen State College
Adam Fagen, Genetics Society of America
David Jablonski, University of Chicago
Kenneth R. Miller, Brown University
Elvis Nuñez, University of Florida
Paul Strode, Fairview High School, Boulder, CO
David Wise, University of Illinois, Chicago
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Diane Ebert-May, Michigan State University. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author and the institution.
We are grateful for the leadership and support provided by Kenneth R. Fulton, executive director of the National Academy of Sciences, and Frances Sharples, director of the NRC’s Board on Life Sciences. We thank Orin Luke, senior program assistant, for his valuable contributions to planning and implementing the logistics for all aspects of the convocation. We also thank Rebecca Fischler, communications officer in the NRC’s Division on Earth and Life Studies, for her critical expert advice and assistance with developing and maintaining the convocation’s website (http://nas-sites.org/thinkingevolutionarily/) and electronic procedures.
We acknowledge the important contributions of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center for organizing and supporting the working committee that envisioned this convocation and the role of the NRC and National Academy of Sciences as the convening bodies for the event (for additional information about this project, see http://nas-sites.org/thinkingevolutionarily/convocation-description/).
Finally, we thank all of the participants for taking the time and, for many, the expense to attend this convocation. We are also deeply grateful to the following disciplinary and professional societies for sending representatives to the convocation: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute for Biological Sciences, American Society for Microbiology, American Society of Human Genetics, American Society of Plant Biologists, American Society of Primatologists, Animal Behavior Society, Association of American Medical Colleges, Biophysical Society, Ecological Society of America, Entomological Society of America, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, National Association of Biology Teachers, National Science Teachers Association, Phycological Society of America, Society for Developmental Biology, Society for Freshwater Science, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, and the Society for the Study of Evolution.
Cynthia M. Beall, Ph.D.
|Jay B. Labov, Ph.D.
Study Director and Editor
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