Scientific discovery and innovation present enormous benefits and challenges for society including how we contribute to the health of our species, improve quality of life, drive economic growth, and protect our planet for future generations.
Claremont McKenna College’s new Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences will prepare our graduates with the competencies and skills that are required to engage with these rapidly evolving challenges, and their impacts on society, over the course of their careers. Our program will directly contribute to CMC’s mission to prepare students for thoughtful, productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions through several key commitments:
- Science in the public sphere. Our courses, research, and extramural programs will be grounded in problems that are in service to the public sphere and, as such, will involve collaborations with the broader CMC community including its departments, centers, and institutes. In particular, our curricula will have a strong emphasis on writing and communication.
- Integration of the sciences: Our curricula will emphasize the strong connections and recurring themes across scientific disciplines, providing our graduates with the confidence to work on new problems that do not fit neatly in traditional disciplinary silos.
- Integration of computing and data science in the curriculum. Every CMC student will learn the foundations of programming, data visualization, statistics, and machine learning. They will use these tools both as vehicles for hands-on scientific discovery and as foundational literacy to be applied in many other fields such as economics and public policy.
- Experiential learning. Our students will work collaboratively on discovery-based projects in their coursework and through research experiences in faculty labs, as early as the freshman year. In conjunction with CMC’s departments, centers, institutes, and labs, as well as The Soll Center, new research and internship programs will be developed.
- A culture of inclusion. The department will foster an environment that is inviting to all students, regardless of their prior background or their predisposition to the sciences.
The department’s programs will be organized around three major grand challenges related to the health of our species, our brains, and our planet: respectively, (i) Genomics, Systems Biology, and Health (GSH), (ii) Brain, Learning, and Decision Sciences (BLD), and (iii) Climate, Energy, and the Environment (CEE). These three priorities interrelate with one another and provide opportunities for important intersections with the study of psychological sciences, economics and business, government and policy, philosophy and ethics, and other disciplines at CMC. Collectively, our faculty will have the breadth of scientific expertise and multi-disciplinary approaches that will allow us to evolve our programs as new challenges arise in the decades ahead.
The newest program from the Roberts Environmental Center (REC) at Claremont McKenna College took students off the grid for an immersive field experience this summer.
A lot of kids go through a dinosaur phase. But Lars Schmitz never outgrew a youthful interest in paleontology, which sparked his imagination at age 8.
As students in CMC’s inaugural “Codes of Life” course presented their final research projects, Prof. Emily Wiley beamed with pride.