Fall, 2003




Welcome to the home page for a one-semester introductory biology course at Bryn Mawr College, fall semester, 2003.

Students (and visitors) should be aware that this is a "non-traditional" science course in several respects (see A Vision of Science (and Science Education) in the 21st Century for further background).

The course is organized in relation to the following general presumptions (see syllabus for specifics):

  • Biology, like all science, is an ongoing process of trying to make sense of the world and one's relation to it by a recursive and unending process of making observations, summarizing the observations, and using the summaries to motivate new observations.

  • Biology is of interest and is accessible to everyone, and is an essential tool in the repertoire of anyone who is themself trying to make sense of who they are and how they relate to the world around them.

  • Biology, like all science, is best assimilated by a process in which students themselves work through in their own minds and in relation to their own experiences and understandings relevant observations and the summaries of those observations suggested by others. Education, like science, should be an ongoing process of making observations, summarizing the observations, and using the summaries to motivate new observations.

  • Biology, like all science, is a social process, one in which the observations and tentative summaries are shared among individuals, so that each can benefit from the ongoing inquiries of others. For this reason, students (like faculty) will be expected to actively engage in all aspects of the course, including making thoughts in progress available not only to other students in the course but to the world at large by way of an on-line forum and web papers.

Course Announcements/Evolution:

Welcome to Biology 103. And to thinking about science, and about life, and to trying to make sense of their relation to one another, and to ... Browse around, be sure to read the course presumptions, and let's see what we can together do that's interesting, productive, and fun (those being the same thing?)

Second web papers have been posted. If you have not received email comments from me on yours, please let me know.

Final web paper, posted and hard copy, and third lab report (hard copy) due 19 December. Hard copies of both should be turned in in box outside Room 106. Please also print out and complete a course evaluation form and turn it in at the same time as your web paper and lab report.

Please pay one final visit to the forum area and respond to the request for reflection on what has/has not changed in your understanding of biology/life this semester.

Forum Archive:

Lab Report Archive:

  • Darwin's Voyage
  • Darwin's Voyage Revisited
  • Organisms and Cells: Size Relations
  • The Prime Mover?
  • The Regulation of Change: What are "Enzymes"?
  • Onself As a Biological Entity. I. Heart Beat and its Control
  • Oneself as a Biological Entity. II. Reacting: Muscle and Movement
  • Oneself as a Biological Entity. III. Thinking
  • Mendel's Garden
  • Watching Cellular Life in Process
  • Cells, Organisms, Populations: Who's In Charge?

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