Letter from the Editor

Beth Lindsey, Penn State Greater Allegheny

This past year has been an especially active year for collaborations between Physics Education and Biology Education. In March, the Conference for Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences was held in Arlington, VA. This conference focused on both content and pedagogical issues for the physics courses taken by life sciences students, including pre-medical students, students interested in research biology or biotechnology, and students in ecology and related areas. Then, in June, the Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education was held. The theme of this conference was “the complex intersection of biology and physics.” In this issue of the Fed newsletter, Dawn Meredith gives an overview of the major outcomes of the IPLS conference in her article. Mel Sabella and Matthew Lang, co-chairs of this year’s GRC, present an article summarizing that conference and the themes they saw emerge there.

In addition to these overview articles, I present several contributions from participants in either the IPLS Conference, the GRC, or both. Michael Klymkowsky and Steven Vogel each present their view on the connections between physics and biology from the realm of biology. Simon Mochrie describes an innovative IPLS course that he has been teaching at Yale for the past several years. I hope that the experiences and insights presented here might provide you with inspiration or guidance if your own department is seeking to reform its IPLS course, or to offer more Biophysics options.

Finally, in this issue of the newsletter, I would like to welcome Alma Robinson as the editor of the Teacher Preparation Section. She takes over the section from John Stewart, who served as Teacher Preparation Section Editor since the Fall of 2006. Alma is currently serving as the PhysTEC Teacher-in-Residence at Virginia Tech. I look forward to seeing how her voice will shape the Teacher Preparation section in years to come.

Disclaimer – The articles and opinion pieces found in this issue of the APS Forum on Education Newsletter are not peer refereed and represent solely the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of the APS.