Talking about Leaving: F a c t o r s Contributing to High Attrition R a t e s a m o n g Science, Mathematics & Engineering Undergraduate Majors: Final Report to t h e Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on an Ethnographic Inquiry at S e v e n Institutions Elaine Seyrnourand Nancy M. Hewln. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 1994. xi + 544 pp. Figs. and tables. 21.4 x 27.2 cm. This hook reports the results of a three-year project to discover, and establish the relative importance of, factors having the greatest hearing on the decisions of undergraduates a t four-year colleges and universities to switch from science, mathematics and engineering (SME) majors into nonseience disciplines. Interviews with 460 students constitute the raw data from which the report was developed by ethnographic methods. The two major conclusions are 1. that switchers and nan-switchers as groups do not differ significantly in either ability or moral character and 2. t h a t both graups had similar difficulties and concerns with their SME majors.
Switchers mentioned somewhat mare concerns than non-switchem, hut the graups were distinguished more by the greater inability of switchers to cope with their difficulties. Twenty-three concerns were identified as contributingto decisions to switch majors: the four mast significant being 1. lack or lass of interest in science, 2. the heliefthat a nonscience major would hemare interesting or a better education, 3. p w r teaching by science faculty, and 4. feeling overwhelmed by the pace and load of curriculum demands.
ees together with comments explaining the significance ofthe students'statements, organized around themes of choice of major, high school preparation, the difficulty of SME majors, the weedout process, the unsupportive culture, teaching and learning, issues of career, money, time and lifestyle, gender issues, and ethnicity issues. The implications of the conclusions are discussed in a final chapter. A far greater contribution to SME attrition comes from problems with the structure afthe educational experience and culture of the discipline than from problems of personal inadequacy,
aptitude for other disciplines, or the appeal of other majors. The central issues are pedagogy, assessment, and curriculum design; all of which are contralled by the faculty and institution. The canclusions provide strong hypotheses explaining why national programs to increase recruitment of minority groups and women into science, mathematics and engineering have failed and will continue to fail to reach their goals. Recruitment from these groups has increased, but retention has not. This hwk is not easy to read and is even more difficult to digest. For the linear reader, the guideposts and structure that would assist in quickly achieving an understanding of the overall message are mostly absent. Introductory statements and conclusionsare difflcdt to find and relate to the evidence. As it stands, the book is a useful data repository and provides a solid foundation for discussion of the subject of student attrition from SME majors. I t is hoped that the authors will ~ u b l i s ha much shorter. carefullv edited version that can b rrnd &rrt-asIly hy SME tr3rht.r~and thus have a s ~ ~ > t i c a r n lmpner on reaehmg ~n the rcrenres. Although thrv would profit from 11,busy SME faculty memorri arc unllkrly ro rake the rmr 18, w : d and digest this book in its present farm ~~~
L e e D. H a n s e n Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo. UT 84602
Analytical Chemistry: An
Introduction, Sixth Edition
Douglas A. Skoog, Donaid M. West, and E James Holler. Saunders College Publishing: New York, NY, 1994, xvi + 675 pp. Figs. tables, and photos. 21.1 x 26.2 cm. The sixth edition of this textbwkcantinues to be a n abbreviated version of the authors Fundamentals ofAnalytiea1 Chemistry. The authors state that the sixth edition is still intended for students taking a broad range of scientific or pre-professional studies and whose only exposure to analytical chemistry will be a one-semester or ane-quarter quantitative analysis course. The text can be used for shorter sophomore-level chemistry major courses or freshman-level laboratory courses. The authors intentions are to provide a rigorous background in relevant chemical and physical principles, develop in students an.appreciation of the problems in evaluating experimental data, survey a wide range of modern techniques, and teach skills for obtaining goad analytical data with confidence. The text is well crafted and should achieve those goals. Instrucrms whoare not fmuljar with earlirrcd~rionsofrh~s text i h w l d include 11 tl~rit.cur1iid~,r3t1ons
Reviewed in This Issue Reviewer
Lee D. Hansen Elaine S e y m o u r a n d N a n c y M. Hewitt, Talking about Leaving: Factors Contributing to High Attrition Rates among Science, Mathematics & Engineering Undergraduate Majors: Final Report to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation on a n Ethnographic Inquiry at S e v e n Institutions Douglas A. Skoog, Donald M. West, and F: James Holler, Analytical Chemistry: John Ganchoff An Introduction, Sixth Edition George 0. Kaffman Seymour H. Mauskopf, editor, Chemical Sciences in t h e Modern World Titles of Interest Monographs New Volumes in Continuting Series
A31 0 A31 0 A311 A311 A31 2 A312
Chapwrs are ordcwd in a fcmiliar fkshton .\n inrrodurrion rstablnshing the nardre of rhr analysis process, TPYWWF ~ #hfn s ~ eso. lutlon chrmisrrv, e r r o r s a n d s r a t l s r r r i , and an e x t t n s ~ v e presentation of equilibrium concepts and applications make up the first portion of the text. The rigorous approach to doing equilibrium calculations along with approximations is presented and illustrated with solubility calculations of increasing complexity. A single chapter on gravimetry followed by nine chapters an the theory and applications of titrimetry appear next. One chapter eaeh an patentiometry and eledrogravimetry and coulometry make up the treatment of electroanalytical chemistry. Next fallows five chapters an spectroscopy (instrumentation and theory, molecular ahsorotion. fluorescence. and atomic s h s a r ~ t i a nand emission). 'The next thrrc chnpwrs'covrr iepnmtwn t&hnlqueu rrrractmn and ion exrhmgr ,sn intndurtlon I,, chrumatumaphy, s d app11rutwns ofrhronutug-l-aphy gc and lc Aehnprrr ahour ehrmncnls apparatus and unit operations and a chapter providing instructions for a variety of traditional methods of analysis conclude the text. A set of appendices providing data, mathematical reviews, and a treatment of normality and equivalent weight is included. The writing is clear and concise. Numerous worked-out examples are provided in eaeh chapter. Answers to about half of the exercises a t the end of each chapter are given. The authors state that mast chapters can stand alone; thus, instructors can reorganize material to fit their particular situations. Changes appear in the sixth edition. Additional material has been added to the statistics chapter and the chapter on atomic spectroscopy. Some derivations have been placed in separate Features sections. Computer applications found in the fifth edition have been deleted because a separate text, using Mathcad, has been published by one of the authors. The Features sections include more examples of analytical chemistry in diverse fields in addition to extended explanations of complex ideas, historical notes, and derivations. Concern continues to he expressed (e.g., see editorial in Analytical Chemistry, July 1, 1994) about the disproportionate share allotted to equilibrium calculations and titrimetry in introductory analytical courses and texts. What analytical chemists do is not being communicated s u f f k i e n t l This text-although giving cansiderahle emphasis to titrimetry and corresponding equilibriadoes provide excellent presentations of f u n d a m e n t a l s of electroanalytical chemistry, spectroscopy, and chromatography with e x a m ~ l e ofcantemoorarv s Those eontemolatine ,adications. ,. changes awav from ~ r d d ~ t ttupics ~ ~ ~ in a lt h r ~ v ~ o u r s r s ~ wi.1 t i l l find thistvrt r f i c t i r r tool for srurlrnrs to u.;c in Iesrnlngahout an:%lytieal chemistry. ~
to enhance public understanding of science. The participants also considered how to narrow the gap between historians of science on the one hand and chemical educators on the other as well as how to make the history of chemistry more relevant to its intended audience. Now most of the papers presented a t the conference plus a numher of additional essays, 18 in all (by 18 contributors, five ofwhom are women), have appeared in the third volume of "The Chemical Sciences in Society" series ( h o l d Thackray, series editor). Varying in form, content, and length (from three to 58 pp), some report detailed, original research; some provide general plans for future research in major areas of scholarship; and some reflect on the opportunities and challenges facing historians of the chemical seiences and industries and their audiences. Each essay is well documented, and the book includes a n 11payr hlhl~ngrnphyand a ninc-page twocolumns prr pag*, index. Thls wlumt udl be of mrerest ro hmronnns of ehrm>stryand uf suenct.. chemlsti cuncerned w t h the h l . x m ~ofthmr sriencr, high school and college chemical educators, science policy-makers, and everyone concerned with the role of chemistry in modern society.
George 0. Kauffman California State University, Fresno Fresno. CA 93740
John Ganchoff Elmhurst College Elmhurst. IL 60126
Chemical Sciences in the Modern World Seymour H. Mauskopf, Editor. Univenity of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1993. Illus. xxii + 417 pp. 15.0 x 22.8 cm. $39.95. "Chemical Sciences in the Modern World," a wide-ranginginternational conference on the history of chemistry sponsored by the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, organized by Seymour H. Mauskopf, Professor of History at Duke University, and Robert E. Kohler, Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and attended by distinguished historians afchemistrv and chemists from the United States. Canada. France. Germanr Great Britain. and Israel as well as seleading scholars ofthe modern chemical sciences was to elicit new insights on the challenges facing historians of science and on ways
12 December 1994