Prominent biochemist says science education is key

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 Wednesday, 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.”

Download the slides from “Learning from failure: Life as an education.”

The HudsonAlpha Alumni Association and science educators were invited to a second seminar by Alberts at 4 pm. AL.com’s Lee Roop covered the second seminar, which focused on the problems in science education and offered solutions to improve the field. Read the AL.com story online.

Download the slides from “Spreading science throughout society: A challenge for the 21st century.”

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.

More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including the upcoming schedule, can be found at hudsonalpha.org/seminars.

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