Howard Hughes Medical Institute 2010 Annual Report

Building Bio 2020

In August 2010, leading scientists and educators gathered to discuss their hopes for science education in the next decade. Read More

Photography by Paul Fetters

A National Academy of Sciences report issued in 2003 changed the way people think about undergraduate science education. Bio 2010 laid out a strategy to bring undergraduate biology education apace with the rapidly evolving research environment. The plan encouraged colleges and universities to train biologists who can jump into the quantitative and interdisciplinary research that dominates modern biology.

It worked. Schools now offer more interdisciplinary courses, create more research opportunities for students, and integrate more math into the biology curriculum. “Bio 2010 could have been any old report that gets put on a shelf and people say ‘Woe is me, there is a problem.’ That didn’t happen,” says Peter J. Bruns, HHMI’s former vice president for grants and special programs. “The report gave recommendations that recognize the different levels in the community—faculty, departments, administrators. So people have something they can do.”

On August 3, 2010, HHMI brought together 130 scientists, science educators, and HHMI staff for a symposium called Bio 2020: Developing the Next Generation. The seven speakers—distinguished scientists and educators—shared their insights into how to encourage students of diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in science.

The symposium honored Bruns, who retired later that month after 10 years at HHMI. The organizers, program directors David Asai and Tuajuanda Jordan, hope this is just the start of a larger discussion of how to carry Bio 2010’s successes into the next decade.

Shirley M. Malcolm, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Shirley Malcom

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Peter J. Bruns, HHMI

Peter Bruns

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Thomas R. Cech, HHMI, University of Colorado at Boulder

Tom Cech

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Jo Handelsman, Yale University

Jo Handelsman

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Clifton A. Poodry, National Institutes of Health

Clif Poodry

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Sarah C.R. Elgin, Washington University in St. Louis

Sarah Elgin

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Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief, Science

Bruce Alberts

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James P. Collins, Arizona State University

Jim Collins

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New Perspectives in Science Education

New Perspectives in Science Education

Two HHMI programs are taking different, but complementary, approaches to advancing science education in America.

Bruns on Progress and Promise

Bruns on Progress and Promise

Peter J. Bruns reflects on the state of science education in the United States, and his hopes for the future.

Models of Education

Models of Education

The scale of HHMI’s investment in science education at the institutional level is important to its success.

Abraham on the Value of Early Opportunity

Abraham on Early Opportunity

Success stories don’t come much better than that of Jonathan Abraham.

Fellowships & Grants

Fellowships & Grants

Five new Gilliam Fellows, the latest cycle of Med Into Grad awards, and a recap of the 2009 Holiday Lectures on Science.

Photo Credit: Paul Fetters