1887

Towards an Evolutionary Perspective in Teaching and Popularizing Microbiology

    Author: Fernando Bueno Ferreira Fonseca de Fraga1
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    Affiliations: 1: Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Santa Catarina (IFSC) – Criciúma, Santa Catarina 88813-600, Brazil
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 17 November 2017 Accepted 12 December 2017 Published 30 March 2018
    • ©2018 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of education – Federal Institute of Science and Technology of Santa Catarina (IFSC) – Rod. SC 443, 88813-600, Criciúma, SC, Brazil. Phone: 55 48 3462-5000. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1531
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    Abstract:

    Microorganisms are extremely abundant on our planet, and, as a result, they interact with many others forms of life. Today, science recognizes the essential role of these organisms in the emergence and maintenance of life on Earth. Nonetheless, misconceptions about microorganisms in the imaginations of students and the lay audience persist. A major challenge in teaching and popularizing microbiology is to provide students and the general public with a varied understanding of microbes in nature to reinforce their importance in a multitude of processes. In this perspective article, I discuss the persistence of the association between microbes and disease in laypersons’ views. Moreover, I advocate for the adoption of a perspective anchored in evolutionary biology for teaching and popularizing microbiology to minimize this problem. To do so, I present several topics that interconnect evolution and microbiology and discuss how these topics could increase the general public’s understanding of the microbial world.

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1531
2018-03-30
2019-09-16

Abstract:

Microorganisms are extremely abundant on our planet, and, as a result, they interact with many others forms of life. Today, science recognizes the essential role of these organisms in the emergence and maintenance of life on Earth. Nonetheless, misconceptions about microorganisms in the imaginations of students and the lay audience persist. A major challenge in teaching and popularizing microbiology is to provide students and the general public with a varied understanding of microbes in nature to reinforce their importance in a multitude of processes. In this perspective article, I discuss the persistence of the association between microbes and disease in laypersons’ views. Moreover, I advocate for the adoption of a perspective anchored in evolutionary biology for teaching and popularizing microbiology to minimize this problem. To do so, I present several topics that interconnect evolution and microbiology and discuss how these topics could increase the general public’s understanding of the microbial world.

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