Realizing the need to attract students to pursue science as a career and to improve the quality of the teaching and learning experience in a holistic way, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) conceived the Star College Scheme in 2007. The Department took an unconventional and bold step by providing support to all science departments—not just biology or biotechnology—in undergraduate colleges under this scheme. The scheme primarily lays emphasis on practical … More
Biology today is changing to become more technology-dependent and collaborative, and the integration of research experiences with standard undergraduate biology education is considered essential to nurture future innovators in science. Utpal Banerjee from UCLA has focused on integrating education and research for over 20 years. He talks to Nandini Rajamani about the structure of these programs at UCLA, whether they can be adapted to India, and his personal motivations.
Through a PhD, and then a postdoc, we are trained as scientists and researchers, to think logically, analyze experimental results, design experiments to test hypothesis. Research is a natural progression, but educating the next generation is a totally different ball game.
When I began interacting with children (elementary to high school) in Hyderabad, I realized that it was not very easy to get them excited about biology. This was especially visible when one saw the excitement that chemistry experiments created. I could even bring some excitement into astronomy using the open-source 'Stellarium' software. I wanted to hear the "wow"s from kids when I talked about biology, as they … More
The reductionist approach to biology been largely responsible for the astounding progress and excitement seen in biology during the past five decades or so. However, an extreme reductionist approach with a heavy reliance on molecular biology in recent years has become a negative factor and has occluded the enormously exciting view that biology presents today.