Before and After Lab: Instructing Students in ‘Non-Chemical’ Research Skills

A Symposium at the 2012 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education

Organized by: Judith Currano (University of Pennsylvania), Andrea Twiss-Brooks (University of Chicago), Grace Baysinger (Stanford University)

When students think about chemistry, one of the first things that comes to mind is the laboratory, but while the experiments done in the lab are the “meat” of the chemical research process, they are sandwiched between literature searching, reading, and acquisition of funding on one side, and publication and presentation on the other. These highly nuanced topics are frequently overlooked by educators and students alike, although they are crucial for success in both academic and industrial research. The “Before and After Lab” session at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, held on the campus of The Pennsylvania State University, July 29-August 2, 2012, brought together chemistry instructors to share their best practices in teaching students what to do before they enter and after they leave the laboratory. Presenters discussed how to teach students to search and read the scientific literature, to consider ethical issues inherent in scientific research, to understand the peer review process, to effectively manage literature references, and to present their work. The program with abstracts was posted: AM session, PM session. The following talks were presented during the full day symposium [links to slides are included below where available]:

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Symposium Co-Organizer