University of Oregon


Conference: The Complex Intersection of Biology and Physics


META PI Raghuveer Parthasarathy spent the past week at a fascinating conference on science and teaching at the interface of physics and biology (Gordon Research Conferences). The scientific content overlapped with META interests in a few spots related to microbes and (especially) microscopy. More importantly, many presentations and many discussions dealt with the broader question of what skills we want to train contemporary biologists and physicists to have, a question that arises often in our systems biology center’s exploration of cross-disciplinary training. Two recurrent words were /randomness/ — moving beyond the misleadingly deterministic (and dull) depictions of motion encountered in introductory physics classes, towards views that better prepare one to understand microscopic reality — and /modeling/ — developing skills in the construction of abstracted mathematical or physical pictures of reality. The cross-disciplinary, quantitative framework required by systems biology can, perhaps, contribute towards establishing a framework for training in all the biological sciences.


June 17, 2014





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The META Center for Systems Biology is a National Center for Systems Biology funded by the National Institute for General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health


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