Science education

Many of you may remember a time when music-stealing was rampant on the internet.  Apple changed this situation by establishing a new kind of marketplace.
Now people pay for music and download it from iTunes.
What if there were a third party group, with an iTunes-like model, where scientific publishers would make papers available for purchase? Could this kind of model work? ... Read more
The Backstory:  As it stands today,when one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides the funding for a scientific research project, and those results are published, they must be made freely available to public, within a set period of time.  The reasoning behind this requirement is that taxpayers funded everything about the research except for the final publication, and so they have already paid for access. The Research Works Act (#RWA), HR 3699, is a bill in the House of Representatives that would roll back this requirement ... Read more

This morning, I learned that congress wants to reverse the advances made by NIH and go back to restricting access to scientific publications. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (New York) and Congressman Darrell Issa (California) are co-sponsoring a bill to restore the limits on public access to NIH-funded research.


I've written many times before (here, here, ... Read more

In simple Mendelian genetics, a single change in one gene can produce a large change in mortality. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will be funding genomics studies on Mendelian traits using a similar strategy. NHGRI will fund a small number of centers, dominant centers you might say, and look for large changes. The sequencing centers that will benefit are the Broad Institute, Washington University, and Baylor College of Medicine. For the next four years, the big three will be dividing $86 million a year according to a press ... Read more
Like everything else, if we want to know what's going on, we have to ask. So, it's time once again for the 2011-2012 National Biotechnology/Life Sciences Program Survey. Yes, indeed. Federal and state agencies will use the results to determine how best to support programs like yours. This study will also help prospective students and industry employers find your program. Survey results will be available to you to help with program planning, grant activities, and more. We only want one person from each biotechnology / biomanufacturing / bioscience program to complete the survey. If you ... Read more

"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
It only takes a quick trip to the grocery store to see that familiar jobs are vanishing. Unless you're in Oregon, grocery store checkers are going the way of gas station attendants, travel agents, and secretaries. Jobs are changing, new jobs require different skills, and even those jobs will be obsolete within a short time. Community colleges can cushion the blow by developing education programs in response to the needs of their local communities. Not only do these programs help displaced workers, they help their communities attract new businesses and support economic growth. Georgia's ... Read more
This morning I attended a "bloggers-only" conference call with Dr. Eric Green and the folks from the NIH Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to hear about NHGRI's new strategic plan. The new plan represents a shift away from viewing the genome through a lens marked "for research use only" and towards the goal of making the genome useful as a clinical tool. As a consequence, we will see a greater emphasis on funding activities that support clinical work. For example, it's not always clear how variations in the genome are related to disease. NHGRI might fund projects that help sort and ... Read more
About mid-morning, my 16yr old daughter called me from school and asked me to help her get an interview transcript that was on her computer. Four years ago, when my older daughter was in high school, I would have printed that document and driven to the school to deliver it. Not today. Today, I found the document on YD's computer, opened a browser, logged in to Google Docs, uploaded her file to my Google Docs account, and set the sharing settings so that YD could log in from school and get the document, which she did. No one had to drive to the high school. No child had to stand outside ... Read more

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