U of Iowa and the botanical museum

Colin Kaneen taxonomy at SHAW.CA
Sun Apr 11 22:04:11 CDT 2004

I agree with Ken, that the U of Iowa may be "burning bridges."  In both the
short and the long run the real losers in the end are the students.

Where I studied biology at Malaspina University-College, I was reqired to
take courses in all aspects of biology including molecular, evolutionary,
microbial, ecological etc...  And there was a sizable herbarium for the
student base of about 7000 along with an insect collection, horns and
antlers, sponges and so on.

Molecular is one aspect of biology which I chose not to pursue.  But,
doesn't it make more sense to teach all the various aspects and then let
the students decide how they want to specialize?

Colin Kaneen

At 20:59 11/04/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>Dear All,
>     I think Robin has hit the nail right on the head.  The University of
Iowa is "burning bridges" that it may well regret in the long run.  But the
blame must be shared by those in Washington D.C. whose funding practices
encourage this kind of thing.
>               ----- Ken Kinman
>Date:  Tue, 6 Apr 2004 22:35:53 -0600
>Robin Leech wrote:
>Good evening one and all,
>I have analyzed all the material sent out to us on TAXACOM
>regarding the U of Iowa administration's attempt to move all the botanical
museum specimens from the U of Iowa to Iowa State University.
>I have also looked at the legal documents prepared on behalf of the
defense that were created in order to stop the move.  If you read these,
then I think you will all come to the same conclusion I have: that the main
thrust behind all this action is to convert the U of Iowa's biology
department into a molecular biology department.  This is where the big
money and big names are at present and for the near future.  If the move is
successful, it will convert the U of Iowa's biology department from a
biology department of excellence to a molecular biology department of
>But, molecular biology cannot survive for long without
>supportive holistic biology, but I do not think that this is realized yet.
 And the students certainly will lose without a good background in biology.
 I will bet that most, if not all, of the molecular biologists at the U of
Iowa either came through a real biology department, and took courses
emphasizing physiology and/or biochemistry.  Thus, they themselves took a
lot of general biology courses, but, their students sure will not.
>Robin Leech

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