The Center for Biology & Society recently caught up with Yawen Zou, a 2016 PhD in History and Philosophy of Science, who is currently a lecturer for the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.
How did your degree in Biology & Society impact your career?
History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) is at the intersection of science and humanities. It means that I can have a dialogue with scientists and with humanists, and learn a lot of new knowledge. I teach General Education courses in my university. There is a course called "In Dialogue with Nature", which widens students' perspectives on scientific progress in the last two thousand years. My training in History and Philosophy of Science makes me a perfect match to teach that course.
What do you consider to be the benefits of a degree in Biology & Society?
The courses offered by the center broadened my perspectives on not just the historical and philosophical, but also the ethical and social aspects of science. I learned that the methodology to conduct historical and philosophical analysis of science is not confined to traditional approaches, but can include the latest computational approaches as well. The faculty and graduate students in the center work on all sorts of projects and that is a cool thing. It was fun for me to learn about their projects.
What advice do you have for someone seeking a degree in Biology and Society?
One piece of advice is that you will learn a plethora of skills and knowledge in your graduate school experience, and you should be prepared to be open minded. Another piece of advice is that faculty and staff at the center are really helpful, so don't be afraid to ask them for help and advice.
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