Student Perspective: Galen Collins
Graduating Class of 2010
Undergraduate: Wabash College
Beckman Graduate Student
Many places design their courses so that students can critically evaluate published data — the Watson School of Biological Sciences is no exception. But one of the exciting and unique aspects of the curriculum is the evaluation of proposed research in the form of grants. In our Scientific Reasoning and Logic course (SRL), we were given a few NIH grants to review, critically evaluate, and present the rational behind the proposed projects. These grants were the culmination of the SRL course and tied many different biological fields together. Much more challenging, in our Scientific Exposition and Ethics course (SEE) we each had to write a grant. This assignment not only developed our ability to write clearly and precisely, it also made us to think about the scientific process in a very different perspective. Ultimately, I found that the integration of these courses made the learning much easier and very enjoyable, while providing the foundation upon which to continue to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful scientific career. This type of curriculum develops naturally from the close personal attention, intense work ethic, and creativity that is so common at Cold Spring Harbor, and it is these qualities that, in my opinion, make this an awesome place for graduate school.