50 things every biologist should know

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Mon Apr 11 02:47:18 EST 2005


D.K. <dk at no.email.thankstospam.net> wrote:

> I think the very premise of it is flawed. Graduate school is not supposed
> to give a general education - an undergraduate studies are for that. Grad school
> is supposed to be tow things: 1) an advanced study in a specilaized
> school is supposed to be tow things: 1) an advanced study in a specilaized
> field, 2) hands-on apprentership-like experience that prepares one for
> the "real" work. 
>
> Grad school should not attempt to replace basic education. 
[...]
> I know I would be *very* disappointed if my daughter
> graduates from *high school* without proper understading of 90-95%  of 
> them correctly.  (Except for "slippery" ones like what is the difference between
> theory and hypothesis. - The number of people who believe in one?) 

I basically agree, but wanted to point out an additional issue.  I have
studied chemistry and got my Ph.D. in a biology department (working on
biophysics/physical biochemistry/however you call it).  While I think
that I grabbed most of the important biological concepts during my
Ph.D. thesis that are behind the questions you asked, I would fail with
some of the questions, especially in Evolution, simply because I never
was confronted with the technical terms (like cladogenesis/anagenesis,
Hardy-Weinberg, or epistasis) or with the discussions underlying some
questions ("Is evolution progressive?" - No idea what the question
means, whether it's trivial or whether there is a subtle point as what
"progressive" means).

In other words: Only admit students with a proper undergraduate
education, as Dima suggested, but don't care too much from which field
they com.  You'll profit from having a good mixture of special fields in
your groups, even if some don't know what cladogenesis is, or even never
heard of Lamarck and thus cannot answer question 31.  

Regards, Frank
-- 
> Wolltest du einen neuen Editor Streit provozieren?
                               ^^^
Wir könnten zur Not auch einen Spällingflehm beginnnen.
[Matthias P. und Jens K. in d.c.t.t]



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