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John Ireland

Ah, how much we microbiology educators would love to take this approach to our beloved discipline but the realities of modern microbiology classes never allow it. Most people who take the introductory courses (which I teach at a community college) are motivated by a very anthropocentric goal (namely nursing or some other field of medicine/allied health) meaning they could care less about the broader nature of the field. I always start the semester with a quote by Steven Jay Gould to try and place them in the proper perspective.

"The most outstanding feature of life's history is that through 3.5 billion years this has remained, really, a bacterial planet. Most creatures are what they've always been: They're bacteria and they rule the world. And we need to be nice to them."

From: "Stephen Jay Gould" (Interview by Michael Krasny). Mother Jones (Jan.-Feb. 1997): 60-63. (c)1997

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