Dr. Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief of Science, gives the free public lecture 'Why the University of California Needs to Lead a Redefinition of Science Education'

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

UC Santa Barbara presents Dr. Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief of Science, giving the free public lecture “Why the University of California Needs to Lead a Redefinition of Science Education.” This talk, the First Annual SciTrek Lecture on Science Education, will be held in UCSB Corwin Pavilion at 5 pm on Monday, February 27. A reception for Dr. Alberts will follow immediately after the talk and a Q&A session. Although the lecture and reception are free, the organizers request an RSVP to help for event planning. Please do so at: https://csep.cnsi.ucsb.edu/forms/rsvp/balberts.php

Bruce Alberts, a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, serves as Editor-in-Chief of Science and as one of President Obama’s first three Science Envoys. Alberts is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics 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 (NAS).

During his tenure at the NAS, Alberts was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide. The type of “science as inquiry” teaching we need emphasizes “logical, hands-on problem solving, and it insists on having evidence for claims that can be confirmed by others,” says Alberts. “It requires work in cooperative groups, where those with different types of talents can discover them – developing self confidence and an ability to communicate effectively with others.”

Alberts is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a preeminent textbook in the field now in its fifth edition. For the period 2000 to 2009, he served as the co-chair of the InterAcademy Council, a new organization in Amsterdam governed by the presidents of 15 national academies of sciences and that was established to provide scientific advice to the world.

Committed in his international work to the promotion of the “creativity, openness and tolerance that are inherent to science,” Alberts believes that “scientists all around the world must now band together to help create more rational, scientifically-based societies that find dogmatism intolerable.”

Widely recognized for his work in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, Alberts has earned many honors and awards, including 16 honorary degrees. He currently serves on the advisory boards of more than 25 non-profit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

SciTrek is dedicated to allowing K-12 students to experience the scientific process first hand. SciTrek partners with local schools and organizations to present inquiry based modules that not only emphasize the process of science but also specific grade level standards. Each module allows students to design and carryout an experiment. Providing students with the opportunity to not only learn scientific facts but also experience the scientific method allows students to understand how scientists use evidence-based explanations to explain the world around them. In addition to providing programming for K-12 students, SciTrek strives to demonstrate the importance of inquiry-based lessons in science curriculum to teachers, practicing teachers, and teachers in training.

Dr. Bruce Alberts is presented by SciTrek, The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, and the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry with generous support from the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Office of Research, the College of Creative Studies, the College of Engineering, the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Division of Mathematical, Life & Physical Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences.

[Bruce Alberts is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]