Joys and Sorrows in Teaching Sex and Genetics


Professor Alain F. Corcos taught nature and philosophy of science for twenty-six years at Michigan State University. He has written many scientific articles and three books published by university presses.

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Michigan State University had a college teaching general education in humanities, social sciences, natural science, and arts and letters to freshmen. At first, these science courses were mandatory for every student, but then were required only for non-science majors. Unlike traditional introductory science courses, they focused on the nature and history of science. Teaching these courses to students who, for the most part, hated science for one reason or another, posed a unique challenge.

Professor Alain F. Corcos taught natural science at the university for twenty-six years from 1965 to 1991. During that time, he learned a lot about eighteen-year-old students — their thoughts, aspirations, and unpreparedness for college life.

After three decades of teaching and some years of retirement behind him, he asked himself what he had learned from his experience. He chose to remember stories that reflected the joys and sorrows of teaching young people to think about science. Now, he shares these stories with you — stories having to do with sex and genetics, teaching, and race from the biological point of view.

In Joys and Sorrows in Teaching Sex and Genetics, Professor Corcos combines the humor, sadness, and sometimes both that arose from his three decades of teaching science to young adults taking their first steps into maturity.


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