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A Recipe for Invention

Scientist (and Engineer) Biographies

Co Authors:

Traci E. Morris
Department of Biological Sciences
Binghamton University

Susannah Gal
Department of Biological Sciences
Penn State Harrisburg


In this case study, designed to help break down stereotypes about scientists and engineers, students research the personal and professional lives of researchers in their field. The case was designed for use in high school to graduate courses in a variety of scientific disciplines, including molecular biology, biochemistry, geology, chemistry, psychology, mathematics, computer science, engineering, and anthropology. In the teaching notes, the authors provide lists of scientists for each of these disciplines as well as suggestions for classroom activities that can be used in various combinations to build on the students’ biographical research.

  • To allow students an understanding of the human side of science.
  • To encourage an understanding of the history of a scientific field.
  • In certain cases, to show how changing biases, politics and wars, economics, and technology can greatly affect science.
Keywords: Famous scientists; engineers; inventors; biography; sociology of science
Topical Area: History of science, Women in science
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion, Student Presentations
Language: English
Subject Headings: Science (General)   Chemistry (General)   Medicine (General)   Biology (General)   Anthropology   Engineering (General)   Geology   Physics   Psychology   Mathematics   Computer Science   Molecular Biology   Science Education  
Date Posted: 05/07/03
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes

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