In addition to the two Moderation papers required of all Bard students, Biology’s moderation process includes a third paper: an analysis of a piece of primary literature. Students should select one of the articles posted below, and respond, in no more than two typed pages, to the following questions:
- State, clearly and succinctly, the question or hypothesis being addressed by this research.
- Describe the general design of the study. You should focus on the logic of the study rather than the procedural details.
- Characterize the strengths and weaknesses of the particular system the researchers used to address their question.
- Identify the key figure or table in the article, including an argument for why this is the key figure or table.
On the date when the moderation papers are due, please turn the two college-wide papers to the registrar, and bring all three papers (the two college-wide ones, and the Biology analysis described here) to our Department Assistant (Megan Karcher). The members of the board will be selected for you, based on your and their availability, and based on the topic of your analysis paper.
For Spring 2021 moderations: the papers are due by 5 pm on Monday, March 22. Please send them to Megan, and to the registrar, by email.
Students are expected to come to the moderation prepared to discuss the article, and their written analysis of it.
Selection of papers for Fall 2021:
(Note that Moderations in the Spring of 2022 will use a new set of papers, at which point this list will be updated)
- Iknayan, K. J., & Beissinger, S. R. (2018). Collapse of a desert bird community over the past century driven by climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(34), 8597-8602.
- Lehtimäki, J., Sinkko, H., Hielm-Björkman, A., Salmela, E., Tiira, K., Laatikainen, T., … & Lohi, H. (2018). Skin microbiota and allergic symptoms associate with exposure to environmental microbes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(19), 4897-4902.
- Singh, P., & Schimenti, J. C. (2015). The genetics of human infertility by functional interrogation of SNPs in mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(33), 10431-10436.
Also see supporting information in a separate pdf:
- Yang, H., Chen, Y., Qiao, C., He, X., Zhou, H., Sun, Y., … & Kong, H. (2016). Prevalence, genetics, and transmissibility in ferrets of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(2), 392-397.
Also see supplemental methods:
College-wide Moderation Papers
Before moderation, all Bard students are also supposed to submit two “general” Moderation papers. Here is a detailed description of these two papers from the Registar’s web-site:
This paper should be an overview of your college education to date. It should include:
· a discussion of your coursework to date, including how your interest in biology has evolved, particular courses taken, and so forth. Also, a discussion of academic experiences outside of biology would be welcome
· a critical evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses as a student
· a discussion of how your objectives have evolved since coming to college
any other issues which are relevant to an understanding of your academic work
This paper should be a discussion of your plans for Upper College work and post-college. We understand that the first and especially second of these may not be completely formed. In any case, the paper should include:
· anticipated areas of study within biology and outside of the field
· your ideas about work after college, including plans for graduate or professional school, career plans, summers, intersessions, and so forth
· an indication of what you might like to study for your Senior Project
Please bear in mind that the moderation is a concentrated advising experience. We want, therefore, to learn as much as we can about you as student from your short papers.