Biosciences in the 21st Century
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BioS 010-090:  Bioscience in the 21st Century
Fall 2015
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10-11:00 am

Instructor | Objectives | Format | Resources | Requirements | Accommodations | Schedule | Contacts

for Bios 10 students

BioS 10 (4 credits):  Bioscience in the 21st Century (Coordinator and Instructor: Vassie Ware, Ph.D.)

BioS 90-10 (4 credits): Science in the Media (Section Instructor: Jennifer Swann, Ph.D.; Lecture Coordinator and Instructor: Vassie Ware, Ph.D.

BioS 90-11 (4 credits): Cancer (Section Instructor: Michael Kuchka, Ph.D.; Lecture Coordinator and Instructor: Vassie Ware, Ph.D.)

ALL Students enrolled in BioS 10 (Bioscience in the 21st century) as well as BioS 90 courses, "Science in the Media" and "Cancer”, as well as students in BioS 10 (Bioscience in the 21st century) will attend BioS 10 lectures on MWF at 10:10-11am in Whitaker 303. Lecture attendance and lecture-based exams will satisfy 3 of the 4 credits for BioS 90 and BioS 10 students. Therefore, 75% of the course grade will be determined by lecture-associated exams and assignments (discussed below).

ALL Bios 90 students will meet with their section instructor at an additional time outside of the BioS 10 lecture time, as specified by the Registrar. This section will satisfy 1 credit of the 4 credits for this course. Section-specific assignments will be determined and evaluated by each section instructor (noted above) and will be worth 25% of the total course grade.

Students officially enrolled in BioS 10 WILL NOT MEET in a special section outside of the lecture times, but will earn the remaining 1 credit through additional assignments specified by Professor Ware.  These additional assignments will be worth 25% of the total course grade (discussed below).

Faculty Coordinator and Instructor:
Dr. Vassie C. Ware
Professor of Molecular Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
B-222 Iacocca Hall, Mountaintop Campus

Teaching Assistant:
Jessica Leung, Graduate Student, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Department of Biological Sciences

Course Objectives:
A major goal of this course is to communicate to students seeking training in a biologically-based discipline the importance of a systems-driven, multidisciplinary approach in bioscience. Several contemporary bioscience-related issues (e.g., genomics and advances in genome-based medicine, bioinformatics, cancer, neuroscience-related topics, physiological basis of disease, reproductive physiology, stem cell biology, infectious diseases,  microbiology, advances in engineered biomedical systems, social/bioethical considerations) will be discussed by faculty from different disciplines in order to highlight cross-disciplinary perspectives on fundamental problems and potential solutions in bioscience. This course is now an established tool in the curriculum for shaping an intellectual approach to bioscience that routinely values interconnections among disciplines and reduces/eliminates the tendency to compartmentalize learning “by subject.” 

A second goal of this course is to provide scientific literacy for non-majors and the public.  Students who are not formally registered for the course are encouraged to attend lectures based on their interests.  Course materials including the syllabus and all lectures are available at with full access for the entire Lehigh community and interested members of the public.

Lectures will be presented on MWF at the regularly scheduled class time for both BioS10 and BioS90 students. 
BioS90 students will ALSO meet each week with their primary faculty instructor (ProfessorsJennifer Swann and Michael Kuchka) for a discussion session.  
BioS10 students will NOT meet weekly outside of the regular lecture period.  There will be additional “out of classroom” assignments that may include participation in choices of departmental seminars, writing/reading assignments, field experiences, etc. These assignments will be evaluated by Professor Ware and our graduate teaching assistant, Jessica Leung.

Class assignments for the lecture and course reading materials will be available only for official course registrants through Course Site ( Course Site is accessible using your Lehigh ID and password. 

Course Resources:  
No texts are required for the lecture portion of the course. 

Several websites are available as resources for the course, as follows:

  • All lectures are videotaped and any additional lecture resources will be available through the Bios 10 course web site (  All BioS 90 and BioS10 students will use this site to access lecture videos.
  • Reading assignments may be required by some lecturers and will be posted on the Bios 10 Course Site (; choose BioS10 under courses).  Access to required or suggested reading materials will be available for official course registrants only through the BioS10 Course Site.  All BioS90 and BioS10 students will use the BioS 10 Course Site.
  • Bios 90 instructors maintain separate Course Sites ONLY for unique assignments associated with their discussion sections only.  Go to (choose BioS90 under courses).

In Summary:

  • Go to for videos, lecture schedule, and other lecture-related materials;
  • Go to and select BioS 10 for lecture-related study materials (study guides), reading materials, BioS 10 assignments, and all announcements related to lectures.
  • Go to and select BioS 90 for specific assignments related to the discussion section ( 

Course Expectations and Requirements

Lehigh University is committed to diversity, inclusion and engagement.  That commitment is captured in The Principles of Our Equitable Community. The Principles have been endorsed across Lehigh and by the Board of Trustees. At its December 2, 2013 meeting the University faculty approved a motion to include this statement on all class syllabi. For more information, please visit:

Lecturers in this course include Lehigh faculty as well as members from outside the Lehigh community.  It is expected that all course participants will extend typical courtesies to lecturers and class participants for the entire class period.  Students are asked to maintain a respectful environment in the classroom by avoiding cellular phone use, disruptive conversations, premature exits and noise in anticipation of the end of a lecture, etc.

Your regular attendance is important.  While all course materials and lectures are accessible on the web, there will be opportunities to participate in discussions with faculty lecturers and/or to have questions answered.  Active participation in discussions is only possible if you are present in class.  Additionally, opportunities to earn extra course points will be presented only to class participants on occasion.

This is a 4-credit course; as such, 75% of the course grade will be based on your performance on exams based on the lecture content (3 credits’ worth).  For both BioS 10 students, the remaining 25% of the course grade will be based on “other assignments” (see below for BioS 10).  For BioS 90 students, the remaining 25% of the course grade will be based on the requirements from your discussion session determined by your faculty instructor (BioS90 – Swann or Kuchka). 

FOUR (4) multiple-choice exams are scheduled (see schedule and below), collectively worth 75% of the final course grade.  Please note that changes in the exam schedule may be required if a lecture(s) needs to be re-scheduled.

EXAM schedule:

  1. Wednesday, September 23, 2015
  2. Monday, October 19, 2015
  3. Wednesday, November 11, 2015
  4. Scheduled during final exam period by the Registrar

The 4th exam will NOT be rescheduled to accommodate student schedules except within University guidelines if multiple final exams are scheduled on a single day. 

The 3rd exam will NOT be rescheduled to accommodate holiday travel schedules and holiday break plans.

NO cell phone or electronic device may be used during any exam period.

For EXAM 4, ~50% of the test will be based on lecture content from previous exams (1, 2, and 3), based on previous exam questions and from a take-home component due at the time of the final exam.  This format will encourage you to re-visit content throughout the course from previous exams to be assured of your competency in these areas.  The remaining ~50% of the exam will be based on new material from lectures given after EXAM 3.

Exams will be based on lecture content, assigned readings (if any), and assigned videos.  Exams 1, 2 and 3 will not be cumulative throughout the semester.  Approximately 50% of EXAM 4 will be cumulative, as stated above.

In general, grading will be based on the following scale:  90-100% (A range); 80-89% (B range); 70-79% (C range); 60-69% (D range); below 60% (failing). 

MAKE-UP EXAMINATION POLICY:  Make-up exam privileges will only be considered in the case of excused absences, requiring written documentation from medical or administrative personnel.  There are no exceptions to this requirement. 

All members of the Lehigh community have a responsibility to uphold the value of academic integrity in their intellectual pursuits.  We have a responsibility to maintain intellectual honesty and to value intellectual property.  Details of expectations in the Lehigh community are available at  It is expected that students will abide by these standards in all course endeavors (e.g., exams, writing assignments, online discussion assignments). Violations of academic integrity standards will not be tolerated and will be handled according to guidelines in the University Conduct System.

If you have a learning and/or physical disability for which you are or may be requesting accommodations, please contact Professor Ware and the Office of Academic Support Services, University Center 212 (610-758-4152) as early as possible in the semester.  You must have documentation from the Academic Support Services Office before accommodations can be granted. For more information, please visit the web site at:  Please contact Cheryl Ashcroft, Assistant Dean of Students, at 610-758- 4152 or for more information about accommodations.

Other BioS 10 assignments (worth total of 25% - based on a total of 100 points)

Note: This section is relevant for students enrolled in BioS 10 only.  

BioS 90 students are not responsible for assignments listed here (your 25% is determined by your BioS 90 faculty leader).

  1. (Worth a total of 40 points). Several topics with relevant literature or videos will be posted on Coursesite for class discussion.  All students are required to participate in the FIRST discussion topic (worth 20 points) and will then have the choice from among other topics to participate in ONE additional discussion (worth 20 points) online over the course of the semester by posting relevant commentary.  Detailed instructions will be provided on Course Site. 
  2. (Worth a total of 60 points; 20 points each). THREE seminars outside of class must be attended over the course of the semester.  Only one of the three seminars can be from an online source such as
    .  The other two must be from seminar presentations advertised on campus or at another approved location.  Check weekly announcements on the Lehigh website for upcoming seminars relevant to the biosciences, health, bioethics, engineering, etc. sponsored by different departments across campus.  The CHOICE of which seminars to attend is YOURS based on your interests and background, but must be relevant to a science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) topic.  Choose wisely based on information provided about the content of the upcoming seminar.  This requirement must be completed no later than the last day of class (Friday, December 4, 2015).

Numerous bioscience-related seminar possibilities are offered throughout the semester at the University (for example, Biological Sciences seminar series , Health, Medicine,& Society Fall 2015 Speaker Series, Chemistry seminar series, iBioseminar series [], Bioengineering seminars, Physics seminar series, Engineering seminars).  

Seminar attendance/viewing documentation will include the submission of a relevant unanswered question based on the seminar attended/viewed.  A specific format for seminar documentation will be detailed on Course Site.  ONLY if seminar documentation is presented in the required format will the seminar be accepted for credit.  
Course lecture and exam schedule:  see schedule (located at



Professor Ware  
B222 Iacocca Hall, Office hours by appointment 
Telephone: 610-758-3690 (voice mail is available)

Department of Biological Sciences Office:
B217 Iacocca Hall,
Telephone: 610-758-3680 or 610-758-3681.

For technical assistance with videos, CourseSite or course website:
Mrs. Maria Brace, Biological Sciences Business Manager
Telephone: 610-758-6235



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