Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Your most popular blog posts

Thanks to the many of you who sent in your nominations for favorite blog post so far this semester.  Without further ado, here they are roughly in the order received:

That's a lot of fine science blogging.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Assessment test review

OK, putting the word "assessment" in a post title is probably not the best way to attract readers.  But since this is an assignment post, you don't really have a choice anyway.

Here are your assignments for next week's class:

  1. Review your answers to the assessment exam and identify at least three questions that you would like to discuss in class this coming week.  Look into the material relevant to the question before class.
  2. Identify a topic that you would like to cover in your 5-minute power point presentations.  This should be a topic that you discovered that you could know better after taking the assessment exam.  You will get additional guidelines for this presentation in class.
  3. I have emailed to you a link to a Google documents page with the start of a "What Every Biologist Should Know" list.  I have added the first two items.  Based on your review of the assessment test or your own experience, add at least three items to this list.  These should be topics/concepts/specifics that you think anyone graduating with a bachelors degree in biology should know.
  4. Determine who your partners will be for your 60-second science video.  It would also be great if you can start discussing topics for that video.  I believe that two groups have already identified potential topics.
  5. And lastly, be thinking about a topic for your long-form blog post, due later this semester.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, this project should be similar to the News and Views review articles found in the journal Nature, or the long form posts on Not Exactly Rocket Science, which are typically around 1000 words and explain the findings of one to three primary literature articles.  You can focus on a topic that you know well and that interests you, or use this opportunity to learn more about a new area.  We will discuss this project more in class this week.
And of course keep watching this and each other's blogs for new posts.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What else are you going to do over spring break?

I hope you are all enjoying some down time this week.  This post is meant to give you a heads up on the course projects left this semester, and a couple of things to do before our next meeting (at the end of the list).

  • Keep thinking about potential ideas for your 60 second videos.  We will do some planning at our next meeting.
  • Do you already realize that there is some area of biology that you should know better?  That could make a great topic for your presentation later this semester.
  • You can be scouting out a topic for your long-form blog post on some article from the primary literature.  For some ideas on what this writing can be like, check out the posts at Not Exactly Rocket Science, an outstanding science blog by Ed Yong.  Or you can model your post after the review articles found in journals like Nature.  Check out this recent review from Nature's News and Views section on how mosquitos smell their human hosts (can be viewed on the AU network).
  • Read chapter 4 in Don't Be Such a Scientist and be ready to discuss it in class when we get back.
  • Look over the posts written so far by your colleagues for this class this semester, and take note of what you think are the best two.  Leave a comment to this post naming what you think are the best two posts, or if you prefer, email your nominations to me.  And don't forget to keep commenting on each other's posts.