Not Grandad’s Science

Not Your Grandad’s Science

Long: Science has gotten to the point where getting a degree in chemistry or getting a degree in biology or a degree in physics isn’t enough.

It’s not your grandad’s science anymore. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Long: The way I received my PhD 30 years ago is not the way students today should receive their PhDs. Or even go to the undergraduate degree.

Tim Long is the Associate Dean for Research at Virginia Tech’s College of Science.

Long: You really have to get a degree in integrated science. A way of looking at challenges that we face as ing society and tackle it with all the different tools in the toolbox. Drawer one is physics drawer – you need to be able to open that drawer. If you don’t, you can’t address all the questions that students today face.

Metzner: Give me one concrete example of that.

Long: Water purification. If we look at water, water purity. How do we develop membranes that are capable of passing large quantities of water which means we have to understand diffusion, physics, all the mathematics of diffusion of water molecules across a membrane. We have to construct a membrane and that’s chemistry. And then we have to make sure the membrane doesn’t bio-foul. When you have water in a lake we all know it can foul – it can look pretty bad after a while. So we know that water sitting around has a lot of biology happening, too. So biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, materials science. And then you think about just the impact of that water on a community. There’s a lot of social science involved too. So the fields these days are really coming together and it’s coming together fast.

I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Not Grandad's Science

These days, getting a degree in chemistry, biology or physics isn't enough.
Air Date:08/24/2017
Scientist:
Transcript:

Not Your Grandad's Science

Long: Science has gotten to the point where getting a degree in chemistry or getting a degree in biology or a degree in physics isn't enough.

It's not your grandad's science anymore. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Long: The way I received my PhD 30 years ago is not the way students today should receive their PhDs. Or even go to the undergraduate degree.

Tim Long is the Associate Dean for Research at Virginia Tech's College of Science.

Long: You really have to get a degree in integrated science. A way of looking at challenges that we face as ing society and tackle it with all the different tools in the toolbox. Drawer one is physics drawer - you need to be able to open that drawer. If you don't, you can't address all the questions that students today face.

Metzner: Give me one concrete example of that.

Long: Water purification. If we look at water, water purity. How do we develop membranes that are capable of passing large quantities of water which means we have to understand diffusion, physics, all the mathematics of diffusion of water molecules across a membrane. We have to construct a membrane and that's chemistry. And then we have to make sure the membrane doesn't bio-foul. When you have water in a lake we all know it can foul - it can look pretty bad after a while. So we know that water sitting around has a lot of biology happening, too. So biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, materials science. And then you think about just the impact of that water on a community. There's a lot of social science involved too. So the fields these days are really coming together and it's coming together fast.

I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.