HMS to Grant New Standing For Nat Sci 8
Pre-Meds May Elect Less Specialized Bio
Premedical students may elect Nat. Sci. 8 plus one half course in Biology insted of Bio 1, Edward O. Wilson, associate professor of Biology, announced yesterday. The statement followed a communication from the Harvard Medical School.
In past year, medical schools have required as prerequisites for admission one full college course in biology, physics, organic chemistry, and inorganic chemistry.
Previously Bio. 1 was specified as the only course fulfilling the pre-med Biology requirement. Wilson notes that Bio. 1 is still favored over the new option. With its three hours of lab per week, the course is professionally oriented, while Nat. Sci. 8 has only one and one half hours of lab per week, Wilson said.
Such professional orientation is not stressed as heavily in Physics. Nat. Sci. 2, with its optional lab, was accepted last year by the medical schools as a substitute for Physics 1.
Gerald Holton, associate professor of Physics and of General Education, stressed the non-professional nature of Nat. Sci. 2. "The idea of a general education course is that it is self-contained. All departmental courses like Bio. 1 and Physics 1 lead to increased specialization and learning," he said.
Wilson, on the other hand underlined the need for such pre-med specialization in Biology, which is more important to a doctor than Physics. A more general biology course before Medical School is not the purpose of the substitution, he explained. Many students become pre-meds after taking Nat. Sci. 8. It is to prevent unnecessary repetition of material that the allowance is being made, he said.