This spring, HudsonAlpha contributed to the national discussion on the increasing importance of science education with a visit to the nation’s capital and a presentation by one of the nation’s foremost science educators. In March, Neil Lamb, PhD, vice president for educational outreach, was invited to testify before a congressional subcommittee about federal funding for STEM education. In April, HudsonAlpha honored renowned biochemist Bruce Alberts, PhD, who gave a public seminar discussing why science education must be improved.
Dr. Lamb visits Washington
For Dr. Lamb’s March visit to Washington, D.C., Sen. Roy Blunt invited Dr. Lamb to testify about the importance of federal funding for STEM education and workforce development. Sen. Blunt is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. Dr. Lamb presented during the subcommittee hearing titled “STEM Education: Preparing Students for the Careers of Today and the Future,” and he highlighted how Alabama students, educators and the biotechnology industry have been positively impacted by the federal initiatives that supported HudsonAlpha.
“The Educational Outreach team provides tools for learners of all ages, and our programming extends from early career exploration for children to in-depth workshops for senior citizens,” said Dr. Lamb. “Nearly 80 percent of Alabama high schools use HudsonAlpha-designed classroom kits, and our workshops and summer academies benefit a network of over 500 Alabama educators. As a result, we have a unique understanding of the current state of STEM literacy as well as the ingredients required to assemble a pathway of lifelong learning.”
HudsonAlpha Life Science Prize awarded to renowned biochemist
Science education is the great limiter to science, according to a biochemist who discovered early on much of what we know about how DNA is replicated at each generation. On April 19, Bruce Alberts, PhD, was awarded the 2017 HudsonAlpha Life Sciences Prize for his extraordinary contributions to, and advocacy for, science and science education. Alberts gave two seminars during the day. His talk at noon addressed what he learned from failure during his career as a scientist. Alberts spent 30 years trying to understand the complex protein machine that drives DNA replication. His success, he said during his talk, came after many failures.
“You have to be willing to fail in science,” Alberts said, “or you’ll never make any discoveries.”
The HudsonAlpha Alumni Association and science educators were invited to a second seminar by Alberts in the afternoon, which focused on the problems in science education and offered solutions to improve the field.
Alberts has served as editor-in-chief of Science and as one of the first three United States Science Envoys. He is the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, to which he returned after serving two six-year terms as the president of the National Academy of Sciences. Alberts is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a preeminent textbook in the field soon to be in its sixth edition.