Dudley Herschbach Teacher/Scientist Lecture 2019


Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 4:00pm


Pfizer Lecture Room B23, Mallinckrodt Chemistry Lab,12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Mohamed Noor

Engaging our Students in Science via Flipped Classes, Science Fiction, and MOOCs


Mohamed Noor
Dean of Natural Sciences and Professor of Biology, Duke University

Professor Noor will share stories of his ongoing efforts to improve student learning and engagement in science classes. After years of teaching a large introductory lecture course in biology, he created a MOOC that has reached a broad audience of learners and that also enabled him to flip his classroom. Noor will reflect on his experience of introducing extensive active learning into a lecture course, and his observations of how a flipped classroom benefited students from diverse backgrounds.

To make biology more accessible to introductory-level students, Noor has begun to use science-fiction television and movies as case-studies for learning biological principles. Along these lines, he recently published, “Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds.” Noor will relate his experience using this book as the textbook for a non-majors biology course for first-year students, and will discuss the benefits of drawing on popular culture to increase student interest and understanding.

The Herschbach teacher/scientist lecture series recognizes scholars who excel both as scientists and as educators.  The lecture series honors emeritus professor Dudley Herschbach, a Nobel-prize winning chemist and a devoted educator and is hosted by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning. 

Additionally, Dr. Noor will discuss his scientific research at a Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology seminar on Thursday, December 12.