Spring 2020 Newsletter
click here for a PDF of the newsletter
|Linda Lowe-Krentz, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Back in September, none of us could have guessed. Our lives are upside down. Some feel constantly in danger, maybe because they work treating patients with Covid-19 in a pandemic that threatens us all. Others may have lost jobs, or worry that they will. As I write this in late March 2020, I can tell you that the Biological Sciences Department at Lehigh is continuing to do at least some of what we do best – find ways to educate our students to become scientists. Sadly for most of us, this is all at a distance right now, but we stay connected by electronics. Most of us would love nothing more than to also be doing research, but few of us can do that in the traditional ways. Other than continuing to care for research animals, we feel stymied. We find ourselves reading more articles, spending more time analyzing the data we have already collected, thinking about next steps in our research programs, all the while we are cooped up in our individual homes.
I am not really a Pollyanna, but I do believe there are reasons to be optimistic. There are many potential drugs (already approved for human use) being investigated, others are already beginning to test vaccines, and everywhere people are stepping up to help in ways they can. Dr. Cassimeris recently reminded faculty that we have all contributed to basic science bringing us to the place we are today. We have knowledge of how to go about dealing with the pandemic, not overnight, but more rapidly than our ancestors who dealt with diseases from the Bubonic plague to the Spanish flu could ever have imagined. I find myself finding relevance in what I am teaching, and working harder than ever to share that with students. I know that is the same for many others.
The Washington Post reminded us of something we might have read in scientific history books – Isaac Newton (before he was “Sir”) retreated from society during the plague. He found these times away to be among the most productive of his life. Maybe that will happen for a few of us also. We can hope for glimpses of silver linings. Those of us who are scientists can be committed to working harder than ever (using our heads rather than our hands in the lab) to do the basic research and the teaching that will lead to the next discoveries of which we can now only dream.
For the moment, enjoy the contents of the newsletter. Read about what has been happening most of the year. And, send us your news!
Linda Lowe-Krentz, PhD
Professor and Chair
Interested in supporting undergraduate research?
Click here to make your gift! Be sure to designate "Biological Sciences" as the recipient!