Most academic disciplines have a clear relationship between the research that is done and the content of courses that are taught. In the area of general education and liberal studies, however, the reciprocal relationships between teaching and scholarly investigation are much less well understood. On this paper general education refers to courses that are taught and liberal studies to the scholarship related to this course work.) The author believes that there is difficulty because the domains of general education and related liberal studies have been poorly articulated. The problem is particularly acute in general education and liberal studies in science.

The lack of clear definition and an understood reciprocity between research and teaching presents two problems. One is that there is no adequate agreement on material appropriate for general education science courses. The other is that there are no general guidelines for scholarly development and evaluation of general education faculty.