Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

A2 Making decisions about science and technology activities

Activities

The following activities develop ideas about making decisions. These ideas are also referred to in other activities.

3.1 Cannabis and the Law
3.2 Teenage crime
3.4 Political responses to climate change
3.5 Renewable energy for a Nepalese community
3.5 Costs and benefits of a Severn barrage
3.5 The nuclear power debate
3.5 Energy futures
3.6 Madagascar out of time?

Weblinks

The Cabinet Office strategy unit and the Government office for science both publish reports on a range of issues, setting out the many factors to be considered in making decisions
http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/publications.aspx

http://www.dius.gov.uk/office_for_science

Cost benefit analysis
Reports from National Institute for Clinical Excellence which evaluates medicines for clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness.
http://www.nice.org.uk/

An explanation of cost-benefit analysis from the Health and safety executive.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/theory/alarpcheck.htm

An explanation of cost benefit and cost effectiveness from the Prime Minister’s strategy unit.
http://interactive.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/strategy/survivalguide/skills/ao_cost.htm

Evidence and other factors
A POST note on handling uncertainty in scientific advice
http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/POSTpn220.pdf

People and Science, the magazine of the British Science Association contains articles on topical issues, with a strong focus on decision making.
http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/web/News/ReportsandPublications/Magazine/index.htm

Ethics
A thorough resource list for teaching bioethics, including academic papers, books and web links.
http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/ftp/ethics/bioethresources.pdf

Guidance on teaching ethics from the Ethical Emporium.
http://www.windfalldigital.com/ethicalemporium/site/teaching_ethics.html

Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects from the World Medical Association declaration of Helsinki.
http://www.wma.net/en/20activities/index.html

A toolkit for making ethical decisions from PEEP.
http://www.peep.ac.uk/content/691.0.html