Dr. James Gentile of the Hope College faculty has been invited to participate in an international conference on science education that will be held in Sion, Switzerland, on Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 27-30.

Gentile, who is dean for the natural sciences and
the Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Biology at Hope, is one
of six members of the United States delegation to the
conference. Approximately 30 people are participating in
the invitation-only event.

The workshop is being held at the Institute Kurt
Bosch in Sion. Its purpose is to bring scientists from the
United States and Europe together to discuss issues of
mutual interest and concern relative to science education at
the undergraduate and graduate levels.

"From that there is a hope that a series of
meetings could take place that would focus on science
education and international collaboration in that field,"
Gentile said. "Particular attention will be paid to the
trans- and interdisciplinary aspects of education in the
life sciences."

The conference is being held under the auspices of
the Institute Kurt Bosch, the Swiss Science Council, the
Swiss Academy of Sciences, the European Association for
Higher Education in Biotechnology and the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences. The U.S. contingent was appointed by
the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

A member of the Hope faculty since 1976, Gentile
has been active nationally and internationally in discussing
issues related to science education. He is a member of the
Executive Committee of "Project Kaleidoscope," a Washington,
D.C.-based initiative focusing on identifying and promoting
effective models for undergraduate mathematics and science
education. He is also a council member for the Council on
Undergraduate Research.

His research in genetic toxicology has resulted in
more than 60 papers during the past 15 years. A past
president of the Environmental Mutagen Society, he is the
executive managing editor of the international journal
"Mutation Research."

Gentile is a consultant for the National
Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, and is serving,
at the appointment of Governor John Engler, on Michigan's
State Hazardous Site Assessment Committee. He is a
consultant with the EPA's Office on Substances/Test Rules
Development Branch, and a past consultant to the EPA's
Science Advisory Board. He is also a scientific program
advisor to the Murdock Trust in Vancouver, Wash.

In addition to Gentile, the U.S. participants in
the conference in Switzerland are Dr. Susan Henry of
Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Jay Labov of the National
Research Council, Dr. Sondra Lazarowitz of the University of
Illinois, Dr. Paul Williams of the University of Wisconsin
and Dr. Robert Yuan of the University of Maryland.