Nov 13 2014 Posted: 11:18 GMT

In conjunction with Ireland’s Science Week, Debating Science Issues (DSI) the cross border biomedical, bioethical project is being launched with an upper secondary school workshop series. NUI Galway-coordinated REDDSTAR leads the assemblage of collaborators delivering the schools’ science programme now in its eighth year.

Although the workshop phase of the Debating Science Issues project is launched, several partners are still recruiting schools. The pre-competition workshops provide an open and impartial environment and challenge the students to consider the ethical impacts of contemporary research. After the school workshop, students work with their team and under their teacher’s supervision to prepare for a debate competition involving more than 36 schools across the island of Ireland to determine the 2015 All-Ireland winners. Debate adjudicators represent various stakeholders including science, communications/journalism, religion, medicine, ethics, patients, and interested publics.
Debating Science Issues Coordinator, Danielle Nicholson said “As part of the Responsible Research and Innovation framework, Debating Science Issues builds bridges between the practice and end products of research and aims to meet the needs and values of the people it will ultimately affect- our young people. Debating Science Issues encourages students to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. This project addresses contemporary scientific issues such as lifestyle-related disease, stem cells, nanotechnology, genetically modified food, immunology practices, organ transplantation allocation, rare diseases and health and self-testing.”
Collaborators for Debating Science Issues 2015 include REDDSTAR, an EU project coordinated at NUI Galway, the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, AMBER at Trinity College, Insight at UCD, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC, Cork Institute of Technology, W5 in Belfast and University of Ulster, Coleraine.
To find out more on the project visit www.debatingscienceissues.com.
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