A substantial increase in concentrators in Biochemical Sciences has raised questions regarding the popularity of tutorial instruction in natural science. At present 225 students, including 95 sophomores, are concentrating in the field. Last year only 60 sophomores were enrolled to the program.
On the other hand, the number of concentrators is chemistry and biology has declined. The unique feature of Biochemical Solences, tutorial for all upperclass-men, has been cited as the major reason for the shift. Radcliffe students, with whom Biochemical Sciences is by far the most popular science field, have listed tutorial as the main attraction.
Like History and Literature, Biochemical Sciences provides no regular courses, only tutorial facilities. Concentrators receive instruction primarily from the Chemistry and Biology Departments. Many take a sequence of courses virtually identical to that of the chemistry concentrator.
Since the Chemistry Department still has the basic educational responsibility, Frank H. Westheimer, Chairman of the Department, said that the shift is not disturbing. Stressing the greater fexibility of Biochemical Sciences, he noted that the Chemistry Department is currently discussing plans for improving its curriculum.
The first innovation, a special two year introductory course sequence, will go into effect next year. In addition, according to Westheimer, a Department committee is considering, among other changes, a proposal to institute a tutorial program of its own.
Although the enrollment in biology courses has remained constant, Carroll M. Williams, Chairman of the Department, noted a decline in concentrators. He announced plans for a "fresh look at the entire curriculum" and consideration of tutorial.
The great popularity of Biochemical Sciences and the proposals currently receiving attention in at least two science departments suggest the eventual possibility of true "tutorial for all."