Learning tacit knowledge in life science graduate programs in Taiwan

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Abstract

In this paper we describe preliminary results of a three-year project that examines the enculturation of doctoral students in life science programs in Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore. The purpose of the study is to examine how doctoral students in life science enrolled at universities in these three countries learn to become scientists and how information and communication technologies affect such processes. The project is in its first year, and we completed data collection in Taiwan during the summer of 2009. Data was collected using quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews, and time-diaries from advisors and doctoral students in life science programs in three Taiwanese universities. Preliminary results show that current students tend to have problems related to too great a reliance on computers, kits, and the Internet, and as a result, they fail to assimilate tacit knowledge that is invaluable in becoming the next generation of scientists.

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