The Other Genome: A Profile of Biology Prof Ben Carone

By Meagan Goldman ’16

Image at top: Professor Ben Carone with his students at this year’s biology thesis poster session. From left to right: Ronak Dave ’17, Emily Shea ’16, Ben Carone, Sierra McDonald ’16.

Ben Carone is a heretic. Part philosopher, part biologist, he stumbled as an undergraduate upon a branch of genetics that challenges one of biology’s most accepted dogmas. Once he found the field, there was no turning back. He used to think a lot about the meaning of life, he told me, but philosophy didn’t help him much with that. It was science – and belief in his research – that hooked him.

His blasphemy is this: Charles Darwin was wrong. At least, he was partly wrong. Across a bare desk in his basement office at Williams College, Carone explained to me that in the nineteenth century, two dueling theorists proposed their own versions of evolution. One was Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the other Darwin.

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The Beinecke Stand: Williamstown’s Hidden Old-Growth Forest

By Sophia Schmidt ’17

I’ve never seen old growth forest. As Hopkins Memorial Forest manager Drew Jones leads me to the Beinecke Stand, it is not massive tree trunks I notice first – it’s the ground. The forested earth pitches sharply downward. Fallen leaves, loose sticks, and scattered stones coat this thirty-five degree slope, so we choose our footing carefully, grabbing saplings when we inevitably begin to slide down the hill. I immediately realize why this swath of forest escaped clear-cutting even during Williamstown’s agricultural peak in the 1830s – this is no place for a plow.

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Prof Frank Morgan: A Mathematical Legacy

By Elizabeth Jacobsen ’16 and Avital Lipkin ’19
Frank Morgan has become one of the most beloved professors at Williams College.  His enthusiasm for math, eagerness to work with others, and quirky sense of fun make him a campus favorite.  In honor of his retirement, the ScientEphic is celebrating his career and time at Williams with our latest podcast episode, featuring Morgan and a number of students and faculty members who have worked with him over the years.  After you listen, be sure to check out this video from his blog.