Scripps College Professor Advocates Offering College Students More Opportunities to Conduct Scientific Research

Associate Professor of Biology Emily Wiley recently appeared on “California Edition,” a statewide public affairs program that reaches up to six million California homes. Her interview will air twice daily this upcoming week at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the California Channel.

In this 10-minute interview with host Brad Pomerance, Wiley discusses her love of science and doing research with students. Wiley, whose scientific research focuses on how a cell chooses what pieces of genetic information to use, recently developed a collaborative academic project involving 12 different colleges and universities across the country.

Through this project, hundreds of students from these campuses conduct experiments that reveal the functions of genetic information that nobody has yet studied. They write about their discoveries and share them by publishing them on a web database. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Wiley a $725,000 grant to expand her project so that it could include students at even more colleges and universities.

“Traditionally, we’ve taught science by putting students in lecture courses and teaching them about discoveries that were made by other people and they get very little chance to make their own discoveries,” Wiley says. “If you’re ever at the point of actually making a new discovery there’s this moment where you say, ‘I am the only person in the world who knows this right now and that is really thrilling.'”

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