: Committee on Undergraduate Biology Education to Prepare Research Scientists for the 21st Century
National Academies Press
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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.