"It's all about saving Aunt Millie" – Bob Swanson Co-Founder of Genentech.
Jim DeKloe wrote this post as a guest author a few years ago. Jim is one of the most inspirational educators I know and he's the sort of person that reminds you why educating students about biotechnology careers is important. His moving story is one that always reminds me that there's more to biotechnology than just the science. A long-time instructor at Solano Community College, Jim is an amazing individual and an accomplished educator. Full of humor and energy, when I first met him, it was shock to see ... Read more
The National Science Foundation recently announced an ambitious plan to transform biology education across the United States called "Vision and Change." Funding for this mission is being provided by a new NSF grant program called "TUES" for Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science.
This finding may have been a surprise to some, but two year colleges have a disproportionate impact on biology education in the U.S. (1, 2). At least half of the country's biology students are enrolled at two year colleges. Additionally, community colleges often provide the only college-level ... Read more
Wired Campus shared an interesting story this morning about a career site for female science / engineering professionals. The site is called ASU CareerWISE and its mission is to help women with problem solving.
I like the idea and I like that they built the site in Drupal, since I've become a big Drupal fan over the past year, but I think they've missed the point in a big ... Read more
Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) shared this wonderful Lady Gaga lab spoof on Twitter the other day. It rocks.
And, it makes me wonder if my pals who've been thinking about getting students interested in careers by having scientists talk on camera might be going at this the wrong way. Sure, videos of scientists talking are totally fascinating (yawn..) and...
Oh right, where was I?
Well, here's the thing. If you want to get kids interested in something, you have to use something that interests them. Your strategy isn't going ... Read more
Theo chocolate is situated in a neighborhood called Fremont, in the city of Seattle, in the former Redhook brewery. I used to consult for Redhook in my microbiology days, when I had access to a -80Â°C freezer and a proper microscope, so the building has a comfortable feel and some pleasant memories.
These days the bar is gone and the aromas are more like roasting coffee than brewing beer. Most of machinery, though, is surprisingly similar. The equipment is very much the same as the equipment you'd find in many kinds of biotech manufacturing ... Read more
Last summer, I had the good fortune to attend a conference in Washington D.C. on Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology education. There were lots of inspiring speeches, cool videos, and talks about building more student-centered classrooms and strategies for change.
Surprisingly, many of the attendees seemed unaware that there is a group of instructors, and educational programs who embody this vision, albeit with a bit of twist.
These are the biotech instructors and biotech education programs at the community colleges.
Many of the ideas ... Read more
Every June, an incredible event takes place.
Biotechnology educators gather in Berkeley, California, from across the US, to discuss new trends in biotechnology education, learn from each other and share information about educating students for the biotechnology workforce.
There are tours of local biotech companies like Genentech and local research institutes like the cancer center at UCSF. New kits and techniques can be tried and practiced in hands-on workshops. And instructors get to practice new bioinformatics techniques like analyzing Next Generation DNA sequencing data or working with ... Read more
This morning I attended the Fifth Annual WBBA Governor's Life Sciences Summit. The breakfast was great; the talks were okay.
I do enjoy the stories about people who's lives were saved because of biotechnology and I agree that the focus of the summit, research and discovery are important, but I can't help thinking about the missing piece.
For the past ten years, I've been involved in a national experiment to help build an educated workforce for biotechnology. Through that time, I've learned about one glaring area where ... Read more
This summer, I had the good fortune to attend three (or was it four?) conferences on science education. One of the most inspirational conferences was one on Vision and Change in Biology Education. This conference was co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the AAAS. It was a call to action for biology educators and many of the points and findings resonated deep in my bones.