What is Truth and Reconciliation, why is UBC suspending classes on Sept. 18, and what does this have to do with Cell Biology, or Science in general?
The university experience is a transformative one. It is a time to meet new people and cultures, a time to encounter ideas that shake our core beliefs, and a time to question all that we knew before. Science teaches us to keep an open mind, to be aware of our hidden biases, and to examine the evidence behind our assumptions. Our hypotheses and beliefs should be tested with rigour, and if the evidence runs counter to what we had believed previously, then our model systems‹and world views‹need to be adjusted accordingly. The experience can be a frightening one, but ultimately it helps us become critical thinkers and compassionate global citizens.
Students in BIOL 200 (Fundamentals of Cell Biology) will be reminded of their transformation into critical thinkers, and will be reminded to test their misconceptions and examine the evidence. They will be given a short 5-10 minute presentation to introduce the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the impact that Indian Residential Schools have had on survivors and their families, and the impact that post-traumatic stress has on everything from health to one¹s ability to learn. They will have the opportunity to post a bonus report to their lecture forum on one of the TRC events on campus or in the city, or to post a reflection on what the TRC means to them.