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Any science undergrad can tell you that the lofty price of textbooks has them digging deep into their pockets. With the latest tomes easily costing over a C-note — or even two — it's no wonder that a big part of the student budget goes to this most crucial of education tools.
Now imagine if you're a student in Nigeria, where income is low, educational standards are high and many textbooks are way out of financial reach.
Eddie Chan, emeritus professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, has made it possible for Nigerian students to have access to his classic text, Microbiology: Concepts and Applications. Earlier this year, Inter Media Africa Limited approached him and co-authors Michael Pelczar and Noel Krieg for the English language reprint rights.
First published 30 years ago, the last edition dates from 1993. Sure, it may not have the flashy CDs and other digital aids of the most recent releases, but, as Chan says, "the fundamentals are there, the pedagogical value is there. Maybe not the latest scientific developments, but you don't need them. If you have a strong background, you can study those elsewhere."
Science textbooks, even the International Student Editions, are too expensive for most students there, Chan says. His will be priced at an affordable $5 (U.S.), thus bringing a top-notch resource to budding scientists halfway around the world.
— Maeve Haldane