UW-Madison evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll assumes the position of vice president for science education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute this month. He will maintain his lab in the Laboratory of Genetics, where he the Allan Wilson Professor of Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Medical Genetics.
HHMI is the nation’s largest private supporter of science education. Carroll will be responsible for directing the institute’s portfolio of science education activities. HHMI has invested more than $1.6 billion to reinvigorate life science education at research universities, liberal arts colleges, and undergraduate-focused institutions, as well as to engage the nation’s leading scientists in teaching through the HHMI professors program. Other notable initiatives include the Science Education Alliance, launched in 2007 as a national resource for the development and distribution of innovative science education materials and methods, and the Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP), which offers mentored research experiences to select undergraduates.
“I want to help other people have as much fun as I have,” said Carroll in this announcement on the HHMI website. “That requires thinking about how to foster creativity and innovation on a larger scale. We all need inspiration, but how do we nourish curiosity and inspire an interest in science, particularly among young people? These are crucial challenges and I hope to promote the very positive role that science can play in our culture.”