The chairman of the Student Council freshman report committee last night defended the recommendations of the Council and his committee for modifications of the Natural Sciences courses in spite of criticism from the course lecturers.
In a note to the CRIMSON, John F. Merrifield '55 said that he felt that many of the differences between the faculty and the Council would be clarified later this week when the faculty read the Council report in full. He also made specific refutations of the lecturers' protests.
Supporting the teaching of the philosophical and technical aspects of Natural Sciences courses in separate sections, Merrifield said that many departmental courses in the University treat these subjects separately. Previously, Leonard A. Nash '39, associate professor of Chemistry and lecturer in Natural Sciences 4, had said that it was impossible to separate the technical and methodological in elementary Natural Sciences courses.
Nash also doubted the advisability of having non-scientists teach the non-technical Natural Sciences sections. Merrifield replied that his plan would have scientists teaching these sections, but they would have a broader liberal arts background than most of the instructors now employed.
When the material in the courses did not place equal emphasis on technical and non-technical material, Merrifield said that he favored coordinating the section schedule with the nature of the material. This clarification came in response to Edwin C. Kemble, professor of Physics and lecturer in Natural Sciences 2, who had said that course emphasis varied too much for the continual allotment of equal amounts of time to philosophy, methodology, and technology.