The twenty-first century poses problems for the world unlike any faced in history. Global climate change, AIDS and the spread of infectious diseases, industrial pollution, environmental resource depletion, and species preservation pose enormous problems that will require new modes of thinking and cutting-edge technology to resolve.
At the same time, new developments in the sciences hold great promise for addressing these problems. Liberal arts colleges, and Skidmore in particular, must help to respond to these challenges by providing all of our students with both a broad and deep understanding of the sciences. More particularly, we must provide our science students with a firm understanding of the foundations of contemporary science, the interdisciplinary possibilities of the discrete science disciplines, and substantive, meaningful research experiences focusing on real life issues that prepare them to become scientists in the twenty-first century.
To deepen our students' humanistic and scientific understanding of society's challenges, we must significantly expand our science program, emphasizing interdisciplinary studies. This will require:
- more faculty in biological chemistry, neuroscience and environmental science, as well as technical support personnel;
- expanded science teaching and laboratory facilities;
- more opportunities for undergraduate research;
- a Science Literacy Project to promote wider understanding of the day's most pressing scientific issues.