Educating the Next Generation of Scientists: what should the objectives
be, and how can we achieve them?
AbstractThe world has changed, and the role and responsibilities of scientists
have changed as a consequence. Not only is there an increasingly urgent
need for scientifically informed multi-scale responses to the global
problems we face, but there is also a need to address to the obstructive
attitudes toward evidence accumulated and presented through scientific
activities. What skills will allow future scientists to continue
extending the frontiers of knowledge, to cooperate in response to the
wicked problems we face, and negotiate the complexities of denialism?
These questions go to the very heart of what it means, and is likely to
mean in future, to be a scientist. This in turn goes to the heart of the
educational process that will deliver graduates able to address these
conundrums. The implications of these considerations will be explored
from curriculum design, learning outcomes, and pedagogic perspectives.
We start by considering the value of longitudinal curricula, problem
based learning approaches and authentic assessment strategies. We
demonstrate the utility of an enhanced graduate profile framework as a
tool for planning educational interventions across the scales at which
they occur -- institution, programme, module, session and individual
learner. Based on our experiences in formal teaching, informal student
support, and research training at both undergraduate and post-graduate
levels, we will reflect on the value of such an approach to science
education in this brave new post-truth world.