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  • ARISE II: Unleashing America’s Research & Innovation Enterprise - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    Arts Policy Fellowship in Global Security and International Affairs The Exploratory Fund Member Login User Name Password Forgot your password Submit a Question Date 12 5 2012 Name Email Needed only if you expect a reply Subject Message Home Publication Overview Research Papers Monographs and Project Publications ARISE II Unleashing America s Research Innovation Enterprise Research Papers Monographs and Project Publications ARISE II Unleashing America s Research Innovation Enterprise Published by American Academy of Arts and Sciences Cambridge MA 2013 Order from the Academy Or download the PDF Table of Contents Preface Executive Summary Introduction Chapter 1 Post World War II Science and Engineering Research Enterprise Historical Set Points in the Physical Sciences and Engineering Historical Set Points in the Life Sciences and Medicine Conclusion Chapter 2 Adjusting to a New Playing Field Dynamic and Global Economic Forces Formidable Urgent and Interconnected Societal Challenges Transdisciplinary Opportunities Evaluating and Updating Administrative and Regulatory Policies Inefficient Policy Environment Chapter 3 Recommendations Goal 1 Move from Interdisciplinary to transdisciplinary Recommendations 1 1 1 5 Goal 2 Promote cooperative synergistic interactions among the academic government and private sectors throughout the discovery and development process Recommendations 2 1 2 6 Conclusion Appendix I A Talented

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/publication.aspx?d=1138 (2016-02-13)
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  • Press Releases - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    computer science to solve the complex problems of the 21st century Scientific and technological innovation has been vital to the economic prosperity and security of the United States said Leslie Berlowitz President of the American Academy yet there is growing concern that the nation risks losing its position of global technological leadership ARISE II examines the factors affecting America s productivity in science and technology and suggests steps to encourage transdisciplinary and trans sector research collaborations ARISE II committee member Richard Scheller Executive Vice President for Research and Early Development at Genentech Inc stressed the importance of this objective saying The ARISE II report outlines a path forward to fully achieve the potential for interdisciplinary research The report also presents a road map to optimize cooperation between academia government and industry The recommendations should be implemented so our society can take full advantage of the scientific potential at hand Key recommendations include Shift from interdisciplinary to transdisciplinary develop and foster a massive knowledge network to focus disparate expertise and approaches on problems of common interest Promote cooperative synergistic interactions among academia government and the private sector throughout the discovery and development process Set new priorities for the technology transfer function between academia and industry with the explicit goal of maximizing exchanges of knowledge resources and people Enhance permeability between industry and academia at all career stages and Develop and implement new models for research alliances between academia and industry The study was co chaired by Venkatesh Narayanamurti Harvard University and Keith Yamamoto University of California San Francisco The project committee includes many of the nation s preeminent scientists and policy leaders from government academia and business ARISE II is available for download at www amacad org arise2 pdf The Academy released its first ARISE report Advancing Research in Science and

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/news/pressReleases.aspx?i=197 (2016-02-13)
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  • ARISE II: Statements of Support - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    human condition and protect our planet Bassam Z Shakhashiri William T Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea and Professor of Chemistry University of Wisconsin Madison former President American Chemical Society Not surprisingly given the extraordinary accomplishments of the report s authors within its pages are to be found numerous important recommendations to strengthen America s position in research and innovation The message appropriately focuses on breaking barriers such as those that exist among government industry and academia and those that continue to persist even among scientific disciplines Meeting this challenge is particularly important given the problems facing the nation today But the case is also compellingly made that there is a critical role for research that is purely curiosity driven Norman R Augustine Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lockheed Martin Corporation The past few decades have witnessed an explosion of new and highly specialized scientific and technical insights across various fields This increasing scientific complexity has often coincided with decreasing R D productivity as people struggle to understand synthesize and leverage specific advances in the process of invention Undoubtedly this illustrates the value of integration and collaboration across scientific disciplines The ARISE II report provides a useful road map for academia policy makers and industrial leaders who seek to increase America s ability to translate cutting edge scientific and technical approaches into practical innovation that meets the needs of society Kenneth Frazier Chairman of the Board President and Chief Executive Officer Merck Company Inc By focusing so clearly on the necessity for transdisciplinary research and seamless collaboration between academia government and the private sector the members of the ARISE II report have highlighted two aspects of the current scientific and technological enterprise that need reform if the United States is to retain its preeminence in innovation that fosters future economic prosperity Their recommendations are realistic actions that all stakeholders in America s future should take under serious consideration Shirley M Tilghman President Princeton University ARISE II takes on the daunting challenges of tearing down the academic silos fostering transdisciplinary research and education and discussing ways to bridge the academic industrial chasm This is a timely and critical focal point The report gives excellent historical context and sage advice for moving forward I consider it inspiring Thomas Cech Distinguished Professor University of Colorado Boulder former President Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science has the power to change our lives for the better It is hamstrung today by boundaries boundaries between disciplines and among academia industry and government These are cemented in place by outmoded funding and departmental and educational structures ARISE II analyzes these issues and suggests steps to establish novel boundary free zones for transdisciplinary science The analysis is clear and the suggestions eminently implementable The first institutions and governments to do so will open floodgates for new discoveries new businesses and new life improving innovations Mark C Fishman President Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Summary The United States has a history of innovation in the sciences However as

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/Research/researchproject.aspx?d=1131&t=4&s=0 (2016-02-13)
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  • ARISE II—Advancing Research in Science and Engineering: The Role of Academia, Industry, and Government in the 21st Century – Committee - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    Project Members Nancy C Andrews Duke University School of Medicine Dennis Ausiello Harvard Medical School Lawrence Bacow Tufts University Malcolm R Beasley Stanford University Edward J Benz Jr Dana Farber Cancer Institute David Botstein Princeton University H Kim Bottomly Wellesley College Robert Brown Boston University Claude Canizares Massachusetts Institute of Technology Uma Chowdhry DuPont Mary Sue Coleman University of Michigan Alan Ezekowitz Abide Therapeutics Harvey V Fineberg Institute of Medicine Mary L Good University of Arkansas Leah Jamieson Purdue University Linda Katehi University of California Davis Neal Lane Rice University Eugene H Levy Rice University Joseph B Martin Harvard Medical School Cherry A Murray Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Gilbert Omenn University of Michigan Thomas D Pollard Yale University Robert C Richardson Cornell University David Sabatini New York University School of Medicine Randy Schekman University of California Berkeley Richard H Scheller Genentech Inc Henri A Termeer Genzyme Corporation ret Samuel Thier Harvard Medical School Project Staff Kimberly Durniak Alison Fox John Randell Kelly Stewart Nathan Yozwiak Project Consultants John C Crowley Charlottesville Virginia Ann Reid American Society for Microbiology Deceased Summary The United States has a history of innovation in the sciences However as the research ecosystem and the economic climate begin to shift government industry and universities must adapt by reexamining their funding practices and institutional structures The ARISE II project is developing actionable recommendations to sustain a competitive U S research enterprise This work will foster new relationships across the disciplines and between the private and public sectors In the News 10 28 13 On Soloists Symphonies and Transdisciplinary Research Issues in Science and Technology 6 21 13 Time to Play Ball Science 5 2 13 National Report Calls for Reorganization of US Scientific Enterprise Duke Today 5 2 13 The Science of Collaboration Inside Higher

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/Research/researchproject.aspx?d=607 (2016-02-13)
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  • The Two Worlds of Race Revisited: A Meditation on Race in the Age of Obama - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    got better in any real sense as far as they were concerned This view is not without its justifications Blacks were at the bottom of the American social political and economic ladders in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and they remain there today They are at the bottom of standardized test scores at the bottom of accumulated or acquired wealth at the bottom in life expectancy at the bottom in marriage rates at the top in single mother birth rates at the top in incarceration rates and at the top for unemployment and high school dropout rates 9 What race relations so profoundly reflect in America is the complex nature of our social dynamic how in this country as Ralph Ellison brilliantly encapsulated in Invisible Man one can move without moving Many African American cynics ask what has changed except the façade that masks the great American racial leviathan whose belly still contains the two worlds of race What they may not appreciate is that for African Americans to move without moving is in a sense a finely wrought art a virtuosic pose of existentialism Blacks have made their conditions into an attitude The difficult craft of post racial racialism requires buying into a belief that everything has changed in modern attitudes about race why not let your daughter or son marry one and bring a bit of diversity into the family while at the same time recognizing that the problems that stigmatize black people and make them distinct in the body politic are as intractable now as ever The dance of post racial racialism is to move without moving It is precisely what Obama is trying to do as president don t you think He is trying to be a black president without being a black president In a recent Wall Street Journal article headlined The Alien in the White House columnist Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote A great part of America now understands that this president s sense of identification lies elsewhere and is in profound ways unlike theirs He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation because he is at heart and by instinct the voice mainly of his ideological class He is the alien in the White House a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe 10 When Obama during the 2008 campaign jokingly referred to the fact that he does not look like the presidents on our currency he was more right than he knew According to his critics he is far more different from them than he ever let on Rabinowitz took special umbrage at Obama s returning a bust of Churchill that was given by Tony Blair as a gift The new administration had apparently found no place in our national house of many rooms for the British leader who lives on so vividly in the American mind she wrote Churchill face of our shared wartime struggle dauntless rallier of his nation who continues so remarkably to speak to ours For a president to whom such associations are alien ridding the White House of Churchill would of course have raised no second thoughts Conservative commentator and writer Dinesh D Souza in his right wing psychobiography The Roots of Obama s Rage offers this interpretation of the return of the bust Obama probably remembers Churchill as an imperialist who soldiered for the empire in India and Africa Churchill was opposed to India s independence movement Even as late as 1954 when President Eisenhower raised with Churchill the idea of granting self government to all remaining British colonies in Africa Churchill responded that he was skeptical about universal suffrage for the Hottentots In the 1950s Churchill was prime minister during Britain s Fight against the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya the native country of Obama s father 11 D Souza s view makes some sense Obama s father was Kenyan If the bust of Churchill was meant to symbolize some special relationship between America and Britain returning the bust may have been meant to symbolize another sort of special relationship between former colonies and Britain But why should anyone think returning the bust was necessarily an alien act unless one assumes that the way whites see history is the only legitimate way to see it Are whites somehow insulted that Obama in returning the bust was saying that Churchill was a white hero if indeed that was what he was trying to say They might respond by saying that the presidency is bigger than the race or religion of the occupant In fact the office has nothing to do with the race religion or gender of the occupant and the election should not be seen as correcting or repudiating the so called whiteness of the office But if that is the case what then is Obama s difference supposed to mean Or put another way what difference is racial difference supposed to make Was it the expectation of whites both those who supported Obama in 2008 and those who did not that he would serve as president in a way that would be indistinguishable from a white serving in the office Would this outcome have been their ideal of the post racial Blacks by and large probably had no problem with Obama returning the bust as it was most likely their expectation certainly their hope that he would serve as an active agent of their interests avenger of their injuries and insults restorer of their place of respect in the world This was probably the hope of the white Left too whose watchword after all is transformative which so many have called the Obama presidency Is this black Americans idea of post racial when a black person would not be expected to be indistinguishable from his white predecessors but in fact would be expected to be very different the deconstructive counterpoint the legitimation of black reality meant to expose the fact that there is a white way of governing and naturally a non white way What many whites looked for in Obama was a Sidney Poitier character from the 1950s many blacks wanted the hero of a 1970s blaxploitation film Shelby Steele in a Wall Street Journal op ed from October 28 2010 warned against electing a redeemer rather than a steward because redeemers by their very nature and mission must be transformative Stewards conversely simply wish to guard the values and principles the institutions and wealth of the republic Perhaps But that is probably too simple an explanation of how blacks and whites see democracy And was there not a time during the post World War II development of the American studies discipline when Americans understood themselves historically as a redeemer nation 12 In a recent Washington Post article columnist Eugene Robinson attempted to answer the question What s Behind the Tea Party s Ire The party overwhelmingly white and lavishly funded is more upset about Obama s race than his policies according to Robinson He describes the rhetoric frequently used at Tea Party rallies and by Tea Party endorsed candidates calls for taking the country back and returning the American government to the American people as implicitly racist It disturbs him that many in the Tea Party see Obama as an elitist when he grew up in modest circumstances his mother was on food stamps for a time and paid for his fancy pants education with student loans 13 If anyone fits the bill as an elitist Robinson suggests it is George W Bush on the basis of his privileged background Bush seems to have wrecked the budget with deficit spending before Obama entered the office yet despite being widely unpopular he does not seem to be blamed for these sins as Obama has been 14 This political button shows how the Left has also embraced the rhetoric of taking back the country It features Jerry Brown who was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and Jesse Jackson whom Brown said he would select as his vice presidential running mate if he was nominated Some of these same concerns and misgivings about the Tea Party are made more compellingly by historian Clarence E Walker in his essay for this issue of Dædalus But it is hard to judge precisely how racist the Tea Party may be First the environmental movement the climate change movement the animal rights movement and the anti war movement its latest incarnation being in opposition to Iraq all have an overwhelmingly white public face at their public demonstrations for example No one makes this point to discredit or criticize these movements Why not if lack of diversity is a serious shortcoming in a political movement Tea Party rallies generally have gone to great lengths to include black conservative speakers such as Angela McGlowan and Alfonzo Rachel and the movement has endorsed non white candidates comprising African Americans Indian Americans and Hispanic Americans 15 Second both the Left and the Right have used the phrase taking back the country For example the Left used it in the political button pictured above featuring Jerry Brown who was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and Jesse Jackson whom Brown said he would select as his vice presidential running mate if he was nominated 16 The Washington Post recently revealed that only 5 percent of signs at a Tea Party rally mentioned either Obama s race or religion 17 Whether Obama is an elitist is hard to say and frankly is irrelevant to his abilities as a politician But being an elitist or some sort of social status hound or cultural snob is not at all contingent on the modesty of one s background A parvenu which Obama and other highly educated black folk such as myself happen to be can be the worst sort of snob intensely elitist 18 It is arguable whether racism in the Tea Party movement even matters very much to black people s interests Black editorial writer Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal made a point of criticizing the NAACP for issuing a report condemning the racism of the Tea Party he called the report misguided and extraneous to the real issues and concerns facing black people in the United States 19 My point is not that Robinson s column is superficial and poorly argued hardly a novel or trenchant observation to make of an op ed I am not even trying to argue that the Tea Party movement isn t racist A book like political scientist Robert C Smith s Conservatism and Racism and Why in America They Are the Same 2010 makes a provocative and sometimes compelling argument about the persistent historical connection between conservatism and its justification of white privilege or the status quo of white dominance Rather I am interested in how Robinson s column reveals two significant anxieties that many African Americans feel The first anxiety derives from the fact that Barack Obama is without question the most criticized black man in the United States now not a surprising fate given he is president He is probably the most criticized black man in the history of the United States because once again being the president he is the most visible and most powerful black man in history Blacks on the whole have always felt uncomfortable if not outright defensive whenever a black person is stridently and caustically criticized especially when it is a black man and especially when criticized by whites African Americans frequently fluctuate between defensive militancy and special pleading in response to criticism because throughout their history they have been unjustly sometimes savagely and opportunistically criticized by whites The group may feel that attacks on Obama are onslaughts to the manhood virtue of the race itself and manhood remains a sensitive and potent issue for blacks who still generally feel that their men are more at risk than their women As Obama is the first black president and as blacks who overwhelmingly supported him are highly invested in his success they are strongly inclined to be piqued by attacks while also proud of his ability to withstand the attacks proud of his being in the arena where such attacks are made This is the tension of what I call post racial racialism blacks want Obama or any prominent black person of achievement to receive special treatment because he is black and they expect such achievement to be lionized not merely as exemplary but as heroic on the other hand they do not want the achievement of any prominent black to be diminished or dismissed somehow qualified or patronized because of race or any special consideration given to it So the brutal give and take of partisan politics which blacks know well enough in this instance makes them uneasy And they are not unjustified in their distrust of white motives many blacks still remember the Republican Party s Nixonian Southern strategy of the late 1960s through the 1980s making a coded appeal as it did to whites as whites many still remember the successful Willie Horton ad campaign that George H W Bush used against Michael Dukakis in 1988 many remember the racist affirmative action ads Jesse Helms used against black challenger Harvey Gantt in North Carolina Some will say that blacks cannot take the pressure of being in the political arena and overreact to criticism of Obama that they are overly sensitive to whites good or bad intentions Beating Hillary Clinton and John McCain two highly experienced white politicians in the arena of political debate and exchange was probably what made blacks feel most proud of Obama Others feel that the whites who do not like Obama use their harsh criticism of him to take racist potshots at the group as a whole through him Besides many blacks feel that they should defend Obama as vigorously as most conservatives defended Bush If your opponents consider ideological loyalty a virtue for their side why is it not a virtue for you as well The second anxiety is related to the group of whites with whom African Americans generally align themselves politically This group usually comprises educated highly cultured middle and upper class liberal whites those who back in the days of slavery and after would have been referred to as de quality Historically blacks have had little truck with lower class whites or with white ethnics except Jews This political alignment is one reason why whites who hate Obama call him elitist because they feel that the group of whites who back him are by and large elitist they also feel that whites who support Obama treat blacks as favored pets while disdaining other whites who are not supporters After all these liberal educated whites took to Obama largely because they felt they were dealing with one of their own someone who went to their schools read their kind of books had their kind of habits spoke their language Obama impressed even upper class conservatives such as David Brooks Christopher Buckley and Peggy Noonan for the same reasons He is a black who did not through his habits or inclinations overly remind them that he is black rather like the educated deracinated mulatto colonial in some respects Lower class whites have always been jealous of this alignment as a violation of white racial solidarity and because the blacks seemed to be rising at their expense One of the most remarkable racist allegories of this situation I describe is the series of Frankenstein movies made by Universal Studios in the 1930s and early 1940s Doctor Frankenstein and his colleagues all represent the upper class whites scientific rational liberal seeking new knowledge and wanting to overturn the old ways The violent monster is the African American the botched experiment of breathing new life into a dead people of resurrecting them through science and rationality Through the sheer will of a liberal vision Frankenstein thought that he could create a being equal to those around him that he could fabricate or engineer an equal being from the bits and pieces of bodies The villagers are the lower class whites superstitious fearful and jealous of the monster resentful of the better off whites who scorn them as backward simpletons And in virtually every Frankenstein movie the villagers with their torches shotguns and pitchforks destroy Frankenstein and his monster In this fevered vision no one is admirable no one has the moral high ground although the monster in its way represents a form of innocence pathos the upper and lower classes are flawed either arrogant in their intelligence or mob like in their ignorance and the monster is deformed A twisted reading of the Obama presidency and some white conservatives are reading it in just this way makes it out to be a modern Frankenstein story the hubris of the modern Prometheus the hubris of liberalism Perhaps it is a hubris to answer the hubris the Left saw in the conservative policies of Bush the hubris the Left sees in the American empire what might be called the hubris of neoliberalism I know that in the life styles of any number of groups in the nation there are many things which Negroes would certainly reject not because they hold them in contempt but because they do not satisfy our way of doing things and our feeling about things Ralph Ellison from a transcript of the American Academy conference on The Negro American May 14 15 1965 This is why I say that in order for the Negro to become an American citizen all American citizens will be forced to undergo a change and all American institutions will be forced to undergo a change too James Baldwin Liberalism and the Negro 1964 The Negroes are asking for unequal treatment Daniel Patrick Moynihan Memorandum for the Secretary 1964 20 In 1964 Commentary magazine sponsored a roundtable on Liberalism and the Negro moderated by

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=834 (2016-02-13)
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  • Acknowledgments - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    Forgot your password Home Science and the Educated Am Acknowledgments Science and the Educated American A Core Component of Liberal Education Acknowledgments The American Academy s project on Science in the Liberal Arts Curriculum pays special attention to the challenges of and opportunities for teaching science in a general education context considering how best to engage those students not majoring in the physical or natural sciences It also argues that scientific literacy developed during a student s undergraduate years plays a critical role in the quality of our national debate and in turn the health of our democracy In August 2007 the Academy convened academic leaders from thirty four colleges and universities to discuss science curricula for non science majors The forum facilitated the exchange of ideas across institutions focusing on innovative teaching methods and common barriers The participants also completed a survey of their institutions existing science requirements for nonscientists the options available for fulfilling those requirements and the assessments used to determine success in meeting science education objectives This volume grew out of the Academy conference and survey A list of participants and schools represented in the survey responses is included at the end of this volume The essays contain descriptions of specific courses concrete strategies for curricular reform and spirited defenses of the value of science to the liberal arts curriculum We hope that administrators and faculty members will find this publication useful in updating their institutions curricula We are confident that the many new ideas and thoughtful recommendations in this volume will have a positive influence on post secondary science education in America The Academy thanks especially Jerrold Meinwald and John G Hildebrand for their guidance of the project and for serving as editors of this publication We are thankful to the Simons Foundation for supporting

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=1105 (2016-02-13)
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  • Preface - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    bugs The male obtains this protective chemical from toxic plants Crotalaria spp and incorporates it into a spermataphore which is transferred to the female during mating In courtship the male informs the female of his defender status by applying a courtship pheromone which he produces from the toxin itself to her antennae If a male lacks the toxin he cannot synthesize the courtship pheromone and the female will most likely evade his advances Most listeners are intrigued by this example of chemical communication in nature What struck me about these interchanges was that I was actually explaining the first recognized example of Darwin s sexual selection based on a chemical signal to a thoroughly engaged audience whose primary interests were in subjects as diverse as music economics or ancient history Without the benefit of a blackboard slides or props of any sort my fellow diners became truly interested in this narration and they came away with a new understanding of some previously unsuspected roles of chemistry in nature That a group of humanists and social scientists expressed interest in chemistry during casual conversation over a glass of wine provided a clue as to how we might teach chemistry and biology to a large body of undergraduate students whose own primary interests are not necessarily in science These considerations led me to develop an unconventional chemistry course at Cornell University with the support of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation as well as the Henry and Camille Dreyfus Foundation and the National Science Foundation I called the course The Language of Chemistry a phrase used by Arthur Kornberg in his 1989 autobiography For the Love of Enzymes Designed as a lecture course with a built in writing requirement with no prerequisites or laboratory component it could nevertheless be used to fulfill part of the science requirement for students in the Cornell College of Arts and Sciences The Language of Chemistry made no attempt to survey the entire field Instead it demonstrated via carefully selected case studies exactly how chemists have studied a variety of biological phenomena and have ultimately attained a deep understanding of these phenomena at the molecular level Students came to appreciate why molecular structures are important and learned how those structures can be determined As part of the course they also studied an area of chemistry biology on their own and wrote an essay explaining this body of science to a lay reader 1 During a subsequent sabbatical leave which I spent as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences I explored further the general question of what sort of scientific education our country s college undergraduates actually receive In August 2007 a workshop was held at the House of the Academy in Cambridge Massachusetts A group of roughly forty participants comprising physical and biological scientists as well as college and university administrators met to discuss the importance to our society of incorporating a substantial science component in the liberal arts curriculum and to learn

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  • Introduction - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    of Arizona reflects on some of the challenges and opportunities of teaching science to non science majors He emphasizes the importance of teaching the methods of science and the excitement of science through a learner centered environment and inquiry based teaching practices Next several scientists describe imaginative courses they have designed for general education students These courses have proved to be successful with their students and we hope that they may serve as possible models for teachers seeking new approaches to general education instruction Richard A Muller University of California Berkeley offers a course intriguingly titled Physics for Future Presidents He describes a physics curriculum based on his own understanding of aspects of physics that are directly relevant to contemporary everyday life While he has also included material on relativity and quantum mechanics he nevertheless has devised a syllabus that can be taught in a general education context It is particularly encouraging that this course has turned out to be extremely popular with Berkeley undergraduates even though it requires students to acquire and work with a large amount of specific factual material Martha P Haynes Cornell University has developed a class that provides its students with a sense of the scientific method and the process of discovery as well as with a basic set of scientific facts Through creative writing assignments students explore explain and sometimes defend in a memo to a senator for example how scientific discovery leads to scientific understanding while also learning about concrete astronomical concepts An entirely different essentially orthogonal view of scientific literacy also has its strong supporters After all the case can be made that it may be overly optimistic to expect students majoring in subjects such as English music or economics to master even the most basic facts and principles of the physical and biological sciences It would be fair to admit that even professional scientists are relatively naive about the details in areas of science distant from their particular expertise Most physicists cannot read with comprehension the primary scientific literature in fields such as molecular biology immunology or organic chemistry each of which utilizes its own highly specialized vocabulary and concepts Unless science courses were to occupy a major portion of the entire liberal arts curriculum a broad and deep science canon cannot be transmitted to all undergraduates Does this mean that we cannot teach science effectively within a liberal arts curriculum Not at all But rather than trying to fill students minds with an encyclopedic body of knowledge that they cannot possibly long retain we can give them a sense of how great and small scientific ideas have been and continue to be discovered The National Public Radio classical music program Composer s Datebook reminds us All music was once new In the same vein all our knowledge of the world around us had to be discovered by someone or some group driven by curiosity to find answers to questions that interested them How do we know for example the diameter of Earth or that Earth revolves about the sun or that its magnetic field reverses direction periodically or that it is about 4 5 billion years old How did we determine the three dimensional molecular structure of disparlure the remarkable pheromone that attracts a male gypsy moth to a calling virgin female gypsy moth from a distance of a kilometer Or even more simply how do we know that it is a chemical signal rather than sight sound or magnetism that is responsible for this behavioral interaction Are there similar chemically attractive forces operating between men and women The answer to this question is that no one knows with certainty Scientific knowledge does not come to us as revealed truth nor can it be acquired simply by thinking very hard about a problem Rather the process of solving scientific problems is often akin to the process by which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle s Sherlock Holmes approaches crime mysteries Careful examination of seemingly disparate clues plays a key role as does Holmes s imaginative speculation about the possible significance of these clues Holmes then constructs and tests his hypotheses by making additional observations or performing carefully designed experiments The process itself is exciting intriguing often frustrating but ultimately enormously satisfying In the case of the mystery story every reader knows this to be the case After all we read mysteries or watch them on television or film for recreation But how many undergraduates realize that this same spirit of curiosity and inquiry is what motivates the astrophysicist the polymer chemist or the tropical ecologist when he or she goes into the laboratory or the field each day Thus perhaps we as educators should strive to illustrate how and why scientists may become curious about a particular problem and examine it in great detail construct and test possible solutions to the problem and make and then correct mistakes along the way until finally arriving at a satisfactory answer to the original question Part of the fun can be the realization that some evidence was actually irrelevant incorrect or misleading or that one s predecessors or competitors arrived at a wrong answer In any case a student who has experienced the joy of solving a scientific problem will not soon forget the resulting profound satisfaction We could reasonably argue then that an understanding of how and why scientists pursue their studies is what we most want students to take away from science courses That knowledge will help instill a lasting positive attitude toward the entire endeavor How might this goal be achieved One traditional approach depends on an examination and analysis of some historically important discoveries Many students however find this sort of course content to be unappealing not to say deadly dull What else might one do A highly imaginative general education course in biology devised and described by Sally G Hoskins City College City University of New York provides an intriguing example of how students can be guided through the process

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