Saturday, March 1, 2014

In Science, Mentors Matter


Alice C. Linsley

I have been pioneering the new field of Biblical Anthropology for over 30 years. This discipline applies the tools and methods of anthropology to Biblical texts with wonderful results that have led to significant discoveries about Abraham's ancestors, the origin of difficult Hebrew words, and the relationship of castes and clans named in the Bible.

Because this is a new field, there are no degree programs at any universities in the world, so interested young people contact me with questions. They express their interest in this research and some have asked me to mentor them. At this point I am working with 3 people and I am delighted that they are helping to lay the foundation for this new field of scientific investigation.

Mentors matter so much in science. Those who are just getting started need experienced people to help them negotiate the challenges of entering a career. Sharing experiences and insights can benefit both parties. The mentor should remain available for as long as that relationship proves helpful, but as with a parent-child relationship, a time comes when the students must launch out on their own. That's when they will develop greater confidence and are more likely to make their own discoveries.

Here is an article in which four female mentors share their wisdom with a graduate student who wants to make the most of the mentoring relationship.


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