|Teaching assistant Loraine Byrne FP (left) works with Sarah Lachance
'99 (center) and
Ali Feinberg '00 to test the influence that different colors of light have on photosynthesis.
ATE THALL '00 thought she'd major in history, politics, or English, but is now deciding between chemistry and biology. What happened? She enrolled in Unity of Science, looking for an overview of the sciences and hoping to bury the memory of a bad experience in high school chemistry. This new interdisciplinary course, which emphasizes how scientific disciplines relate to one another, reminded Thall why she'd previously enjoyed and done well in science courses and spurred her to think about a science major.
If its inaugural run is as successful with other students, Unity of Science may become a national model for increasing science literacy and for encouraging more women to consider science courses and, eventually, scientific careers. It's the sort of course the National Science Foundation called for in a report that chastised undergraduate programs generally for producing "a few highly qualified graduates while leaving most of their students 'homeless in the universe' " without a good grasp of scientific principles. (Continued)