To the Editor:
A piece in Monday’s Bulldog Days section, “How do the sciences stack up to the University’s other departments?” (4/18), struck me as both unjustified and degrading. The science facilities, faculty and students at Yale merit respect, if not outright praise.
The article appeared to be founded on the premise that Yale’s science departments are lacking in prestige and quality of teaching, particularly when compared to their sister departments in the arts. The first sentence asserts that “… the nearly-completed Biomedical Engineering Building serves as a reminder that science at Yale is not neglected.” Implying that the sciences are languishing and in desperate need of improvement is neither true nor warranted by a consideration of the facts at hand. Such a negative tone has no place in an objective piece of writing, much less in an issue of the Yale Daily News meant to excite and encourage potential members of the Class of 2009.
The sciences at Yale are comprised of diverse areas of research, headed by some of the most prominent members of their fields. For example, professor Sidney Altman of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology is a Nobel Laureate in chemistry, and the 2004 Europhysics prize, one of the most prestigious physics awards in Europe, was presented to professor Michel Devoret of Applied Physics. For more than a decade, Yale Engineering has ranked among the top 10 federally-funded institutions for the high impact of scientific citations published by its researchers. A cursory examination of the press releases from any one of Yale’s science departments will reveal dozens more national and international honors that have been awarded to affiliates of those departments.
I urge current students, prospective students and alumni not to let the misguided perceptions of a few students diminish their opinions of science and engineering at Yale.
Katie Dana ’05
April 19, 2005
The writer is an Environmental Engineering major.