Directed reading and discussion of Survival of the
Sickest by Sharon
Moalem, 2007 Harper Collins, NY.
Instructor: Dr. Jerry Wilkinson, Department of
Biology, room 2223 Biology-Psychology Bldg
301-405-6942, email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Class Schedule (Thursdays 4-6; PLS 1146)
Jan 31 Intro
Feb 7 1
& 2 Diabetes
& 4 Genes
28 5 Manipulative
March 6 6 Jumping
13 7 Methylation
27 8 Reproduction
April 3 Papers
Each week a
group of 3-4 students will be responsible for leading a discussion of the
assigned chapters. The group that
is leading the discussion each week should introduce additional material during
their presentation. Please do not
simply reiterate what you have read.
Rather than summarize what is in the chapter, each group should attempt
to identify issues/topics that need clarification or that provoke
discussion. Then, use the notes
for each chapter at the back of the book to find additional information to
present to the class. A good target would be to spend no more than 1/2 of the
class time presenting information and 1/2 in active discussion. My evaluation of your presentation will
include an assessment of how well you were able to get the class involved in a
Everyone in the
class is responsible for reading the assigned chapters each week! Your participation score will be
reduced if I discover you have not read the assignment or if you fail to
contribute to the discussion.
presenting will evaluate the group that is presenting using the questions
listed below. You can either give
these to me at the end of the class or the beginning of the next class. Those who are presenting must fill out
the peer evaluation of their team members. I will use this information to distribute points to the
Each group is
encouraged to be creative in deciding how to present information and organize a
discussion during the class. Your
goal should be to use the topics presented in the book to develop one or more
themes, find additional information from the library, internet or other citable
source, and then present that information to the class and, if possible, come
up with a mechanism to insure active participation by everyone. My hope is that
you can simultaneously learn about genetics, health and evolution as well as
improve on your public speaking skills.
evaluation of presentation 20
evaluation of presentation 30
In addition to
the presentation, each person must turn in a short paper, between two and four
single-spaced pages, which provides a short review of one of the topics
mentioned in the book. The goal is
to 1) verify that the author provided an accurate summary of the information
and 2) report on any related findings that have been obtained more recently. I
recommend you use either PubMed or the Web of Science to locate original and
newer sources. I will grade papers
for content and style, so you should check to make sure there are no
grammatical or spelling errors and that you have given complete bibliographic
citations to any references you mention.
disrupting class, I urge everyone to arrive on time and be prepared to listen
and discuss the assigned reading.
If you donŐt talk, I will assume you have not read the material and not
give you full credit for participation.
Also, please do
not forget to silence
all cell phones before entering class.
If you have any
questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me. I prefer to receive and will try to respond promptly to
email. If it is urgent, you can
also call me. I will try and get
back to you as soon as possible.
You are all welcome to visit my office and lab (2223 Bio/Psych). I teach M 2-4, but am usually around
most other afternoons.
Presentation Evaluation Date:
Content: Did the group?
the key points / issues of the chapter?
new information not in the original article?
a summary of the take-home lessons or conclusions?
the presentation well organized?
the group make good use of visual aids?
the group able to stimulate class discussion?
What was the
best aspect of the presentation? Be specific.
What was the
worst aspect of the presentation?
numerical score to the presentation (10 best, 1 worst):