Sunday, November 25, 2007

What Good's a Liberal Education?

The current issue of UChi Magazine has an article on Leslie Key, who has a PhD in biophysics, and is an assistant professor in the UChi psychology department, a member of the committees on neurobiology and computational neuroscience, and an olfaction researcher. Her research team just "reported in the August Journal of Neuroscience the first direct measurement of how, as the subtlety of an olfactory decision increases, the brain's olfactory bulb intensifies coordinated neural activity." I know that this research is intensely interesting to everyone, but what I wanted to mention was how Leslie Key got to where she is, according to the article.

She earned a liberal-arts degree in 1983 from St. John's College in New Mexico, then spent three years in Los Alamos with GenBank, a forerunner of the Human Genome Project. "In 1985 she began a biophysics PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, that she interrupted after a year, traveling and working as a programmer for five years before finishing the degree in 1995."

Obviously a liberal arts degree is a sure way to get lost in the woods. I hope that by now this poor woman has settled down and been able to focus on something long term. And is she married?

No comments: