I see potential here for integrating these tools into introductory biology courses. My students mostly don’t know or care about what ecoregions are. Will they care more if they can work in groups and look at aspects of ecoregions and research global or regional patterns of biodiversity on their own in a hour of ecology class using Wildfinder? Will these tools reinforce students’ bias toward vertebrate groups and blindness to taxonomic groups in which most biodiversity truly lies?
PDB seems like a quick way for students to compare related proteins, assuming we can find them in the database. I feel unprepared to tackle PyMol at this point with either anxious freshmen or sophomores. It’s also a tad depressing to speculate that traditional stereochemistry, the one aspect of OChem I truly mastered, has been rendered moot.