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Experiment and Theory in Modern Biology Course Description

Course mission:

The goal of this course is to introduce all first year Rockefeller graduate students to a series of historically important papers. Through this exercise, we hope to inspire a critical approach to the scientific literature and an appreciation for how and why different scientists chose to address an important question. Some of the papers have critical flaws and we look forward to discovering these flaws with you. The course also serves to bond the first year class socially, as you struggle together to understand why you are reading these papers and what they mean. Feel free to contact any of the course directors at any time with specific concerns about any of the papers.

Course organization:

Each week we will discuss two papers, spending one hour on each. Beginning on September 25, 2008, one or two students in each section will present a three minute chalk talk on an experiment inspired by one of the papers discussed that day. Your active participation at each discussion section is a requirement to pass the course, as is reading each paper carefully. You will be graded in part on the student presentations, but your weekly participation in the discussion is the most important part of our evaluations. Students cater the lunch for the course, using Dean's Office funds. As discussions start promptly at 2PM, please make sure the food arrives at 1:40PM and arrive a few minutes early to gather your lunch.

Course Schedule:

Click [HERE] or in the navigation bar at the right to access the schedule and PDFs of all the papers to be discussed.

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