My name is Mark and I am in the Biology major and in two minors, chemistry and history. I am currently performing analytical research in which the technique of neutron activation analysis is used to analyze the ratio of the elements Sr and Ca found within fish otolith bones. This ratio can then be used to pinpoint the fish’s point of origin allowing for a better understanding of fish population dynamics. My previous research project was more biotechnology oriented and concerned the sequencing of the ADHE gene of the amoebic parasite Entamoeba invadens.
The biotechnology certificate offered at Roger Williams University includes a number of courses geared towards providing a well-rounded understanding of the biotechnology field. One of the courses offered is bioethics. This course is designed to introduce a number of controversial issues that arise concerning the application of biotechnology to everyday life. An interactive course, each class features the one half the class debating in support of one position while the other half argues on behalf of the opposing belief. Because of the sides being selected at random, each student is forced to evaluate opinions that they may not normally support.
Through this method, students are taught to evaluate both sides of an argument as well as how to respond to the differing opinions. Ultimately, I thought this class was a unique, discussion-based class, which differs from the courses normally offered in a science curriculum.