Teaching citizenship through science: socio-scientific issues as an important component of citizenship
Prospero, 12, (3), .
This paper is based on the view that many of the issues facing us as modern citizens are underpinned by science, and that pupils should therefore consider socio-scientific issues in the course of their formal science education. This should lay the foundations for decision-making and actions in adulthood in relation to controversial science-based problems of society.
Many areas of debate at all levels from government to the media relate to socio-scientific issues: How do we handle an imminent bird flu pandemic? Is genetic modification the future of medicines and global food supply? Is climate change really as big a threat to humanity as scientists tell us? How conclusive is DNA evidence in a murder trial? Should we consider building a new generation of nuclear power stations? These are examples of typical socio-scientific issues which impact on us all, from determining policy through to individual decision making.
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