Innovating Graduate STEM Education Through Bio-Social Partnerships

By Allison N. Hayes-Conroy, PI

Distinct barriers of communication exist between the social sciences and the biological or life sciences in the academy. Scholars from each are trained to produce knowledge from a discipline-specific perspective, and seldom have the opportunity, as students, to engage in cross-disciplinary inquiry. Temple University brought together scientists from the departments of Geography and Urban Studies (Social Sciences) and Biology (Life Sciences) to pilot a model for cross-disciplinary learning and communication that used studios as a collaborative learning space and a science museum as a venue for public communication. The project contributed to wider academic reflection about the production of body-centered knowledge and the role of university partnerships to share this knowledge.

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The project was built around the BODIES SERIES graduate education sequence that was co-taught between the departments of Geography and Urban Studies and Biology. Collaborators see the human body – a complex, living phenomenon that is simultaneously biological and social – as a ‘boundary object’ between the biological/life and social/human sciences.

Learn more with Temple University’s Geography and Urban Studies Bio-Social