Just got an email pointing me to this White Paper on Figshare ……
Seems like a worthy ambition and worth a look. Some key bits:
The rapid pace of scientific advancement presents a continuing challenge to effective life science education. The genomics revolution brings with it a unique challenge for the biology educator, as skills from computer and data sciences have become core competencies to master. Integrating genomics into the undergraduate curriculum is a daunting proposition for the majority of life science faculty, most of whom completed formal training without the computational expertise needed to effectively engage in this field. Equally unique are the opportunities genomics holds to train students in computational approaches to biological questions, and to deliver curriculum in the form of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). CUREs not only develop students into evidence-based decision makers, but also address an urgent need to improve retention of a diverse student population in STEM. Our experience shows that genomics projects can engage large numbers of undergraduates, democratizing access to research experiences, science education, and preparation for the workforce. Our vision is to create a global, sustainable, community-driven Genomics Education Alliance (GEA). The mission of the GEA is to implement a framework in undergraduate education that brings together tools, curriculum, and expertise to support this transformative change. This whitepaper presents the arguments for creating this alliance of previously disparate efforts and outlines a call to action for all segments of the research and education community.
CALL TO ACTION
The opportunities, challenges, and solutions we describe above are certainly not exhaustive; however, we believe they provide a basis for initiating a conversation around the idea of a Genomics Education Alliance. Creating an alliance will certainly not be easy, but the rewards of unifying disparate projects to avoid duplication of effort and make the whole more effective is, in our opinion, too compelling to ignore. Undoubtedly, there are many interested community members who could inform this effort, identifying existing solutions we haven’t considered and most importantly, helping to define the most achievable organizational structure and scope.
We invite others interested in this challenge to join us. In the short term, we hope to collect comments and contributions in response to this paper. A medium-term goal to initiate our collaboration will be assembling invested community members to join us in submission of a “Research Coordination Network for Undergraduate Biology Education” proposal to the National Science Foundation to support establishment of the Alliance. Beyond that, we plan to seek core support for the coming five years, and to explore various mechanisms to provide long-term sustainability for this national (and potentially international) undergraduate research program.
If you are interested in undergraduate education and genomics, if you have a project that might benefit from many hands, or if you see an important future for the integration of bioinformatics into the biology curriculum, we call on you to comment, and to join the GEA.
So – they are inviting comments and participation. I think the way to do that is to comment on the Figshare site but not so sure.