- The students seem to like learning how journal articles are published. I don't know why I haven't discussed this with students before, but in each of my 4 lab sections I got a number of thoughtful questions about the process, and a lot of comments demonstrating a newfound respect for journal articles. The students were especially engaged as I described my own publishing experiences.
- The recent follicular development paper I've discussed (here, here, and here) that was misreported in many media outlets makes a good, understandable example of the possible problems of using just popular media to gain scientific information. I had half the class read only the "bad" newspaper articles, and half read only the journal article. After the reading we discussed the differences between the two sources' conclusions as a group. With only a bit of background about ovulation and follicular development the students were able to pick up on the difference with minimal guidance from me. During our discussion a number of students were asking, "What kind of punishments are there for this misreporting?" Heh. If you're interested, see my third post on the paper for a list of resources.
- Letting students explore journal articles seems to be a good way to help them learn how the articles are written. I scattered a number of papers around the room and had the students figure out what was in each section; most students did a good job.
Friday, February 13, 2004
Scientific writing lab
I apologize for not posting last night; Thursday's my busiest day with two 3+ hour labs and a 1.5 hour lecture that wipe me out. The labs this week were a new lab introducing scientific writing, and after four labs I've found a few interesting things: