What is the Journal of the left-handed biochemist?
I’ve been running the Bioethicsbytes site for a while now and am very pleased with the way it has been received by colleagues involved in education. That site, however, has a very specific niche focus on multimedia resources for teaching about bioethics. Several times recently it has occurred to me that something I was mulling over would be of general interest, but doesn’t fit with the tight aims of Bioethicsbytes. Hence the birth of the Journal of the Left-Handed Biochemist. Whether or not the posts do turn out to be of interest (or indeed whether there are going to be any posts) remains to be seen.
Why is the site called Journal of the Left-Handed Biochemist?
The name of the blog has its origins in lectures I give on referencing for university assignments. Not surprisingly, undergraduates sometime struggle to recognise that papers published in certain journals are deemed more worth that articles appearing in ‘lesser’ publications. To avoid potential offence to any particular periodical I would stress that “An article appearing in Nature is generally considered more authoritative than one published in the Journal of the Left-handed Biochemist“. As of now, the latter is no longer fictional; the sentiment, however, is probably still true.
About the author
Chris Willmott is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Leicester. His background is in antibiotic mode of action and mechanisms of resistance. His focus currently is on the development of resources for teaching biological science students about ethics, and he serves as a co-convenor of the Higher Education Academy Centre for Bioscience Special Interest Group in this field (which probably ought to be shortened to HEA CfB SIG, but isn’t). Chris has a particular interest in the use of multimedia resources in teaching bioethics (see www.bioethicsbytes.wordpress.com).
Chris also takes an active interest in wider aspects of pedagogy. He has worked in the past on educational interventions to try and prevent students from committing plagiarism. He is currently looking into the effectiveness of feedback and the relative merits of various “teacher-originated materials”, including traditional handouts but also encompassing VLEs and other electronic media. He was the Editor of the Bioscience Education E-journal between 2004 and 2006, and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2005.
Photo credit: The photograph in the header was taken by Melissa Funnell, AudioVisual Services at the University of Leicester. The image is actually flipped horizontally – it was a nice shot but everyone said “you’re holding out your right hand” – so this seemed the simplest solution!