By Elizabeth Higgins Gladfelter
Collects oral histories of a few of the main attention-grabbing and consultant box investigators to return into their clinical major within the 1950-90s. The publication indicates how types, ways, and medical values replaced over 50 years and captures the event of medical study within the box.
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Extra resources for Agassiz's Legacy: Scientists' Reflections on the Value of Field Experience
War, I went back to a junior college and then on to UCLA. As a chemistry major, I was told that I had to minor in two other sciences to get my degree. So I chose geology at ﬁrst. This was long before plate tectonics. People knew about [Alfred] Wegener, but nobody paid any attention to the ideas. I took geology and I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t modern; the excitement of continental drift just wasn’t there. It was all: learn the minerals, learn the strata. I decided to take zoology as my second science.
At some point in the education of a scientist, he must be exposed to theory and facts, to breadth in a ﬁeld, and he must develop his unique set of skills in order to become expert in some area of inquiry. The trend has been for departments to hire more and more specialists, who can compete successfully for grant monies. Specialization is important and an inevitable consequence of the growth of a science, but it should not be at the expense of general knowledge. Generalists are often not only the best teachers (they simultaneously present the basics of a science and inspire students), they also provide broadly based expertise, guidance, and inspiration for graduate students and senior scientists within a department.
Over time, a faculty becomes more specialized. Specialists are hired in place of generalists (who would be unsuccessful in securing large grants); generalists are growing old and retiring. Breadth of knowledge within a department (or a ﬁeld facility) decreases, which leads to more specialized courses. Consequently the breadth of the background given an undergraduate science major decreases as well, which leads to a vicious spiral. At some point in the education of a scientist, he must be exposed to theory and facts, to breadth in a ﬁeld, and he must develop his unique set of skills in order to become expert in some area of inquiry.
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