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

Activities for Ethical issues in medicine

Here are activities to help with the teaching of this topic.

The set of activities 1- 5 from the Nuffield Council for Bioethics provides a good introduction to the use of animals in different kinds of research and to the idea of the three Rs: refinement, reduction and replacement.
http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/education/education-teaching-resource-use-animals-research

Lss 50 PixLSS: Identifying arguments, opinions and points of view

We all encounter the opinions of individuals in reports on scientific developments. This activity gets the students to think about the arguments that different people might make for and against animal experiments. Suitable film clips for this activity can be found on the More4 website.
Teacher notes and student sheets (0.8 MB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (106 KB)
Powerpoint presentation (699 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Watching a film

This activity guides students through two viewings of a scientific film to help them to focus on specific areas of learning. A suitable film for use with this activity Animals in research: Make up your own mind is available on The Physiological Society website.
Teacher notes and student sheets (755 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (100 KB)

Arguments about using animals

This short activity is one of a set written to improve Science in Society students' argument skills. It extends the basic model to encourage them to look for unspoken assumptions that may also need to be evaluated when criticising an argument.
Teacher notes and student sheets (153 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (50 KB)

Discussing animal ethics

This activity encourages students to use two ethical frameworks to justify their own general position on animal testing. It then introduces some specific examples of animal experiments that did involve some suffering and asks them to apply the same approach in forming an opinion on these research projects.
Teacher notes and student sheets (436 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (50 KB)

Activity 6 from the Nuffield Council for Bioethics “helps students to become aware of the motives behind the material that pressure groups and other organisations present to the public. Students explore a range of websites with the help of a list of questions in order to come to conclusions.”
http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/education/education-teaching-resource-use-animals-research

This online activity summarises the important ethical issues in research on human subjects and describes some of the guidelines.
http://resources.schoolscience.co.uk/MRC/trials/page1.html

A role play from the Wellcome Big Picture series.
Three different drugs - tackling obesity, HIV/AIDS and heart disease - have had successful phase II trials but the company can only afford to run expensive phase III trials on one of them. But which one will it be? Review each of the proposals, take part in a debate to discuss the issues involved and vote on the drug in which you think the company should invest.
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Education-resources/Teaching-and-education/Big-Picture/All-issues/Drug-development/index.htm

Clinical trials in developing countries

This activity looks at some of the issues raised by conducting clinical trials in developing countries. It allows students to review some of the ethical principles involved and to discuss the difficulties.
Teacher notes and student sheets (518 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (89 KB)

True or False statements about Stem Cells

This short activity allows students to check that they understand some of the science behind stem cells and cloning and can distinguish what is possible now from what is hoped for in the future.
Teacher notes and student sheets (534 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (45 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Writing a scientific review article

In this activity, students write an article, paying particular attention to the structure, content, language and format used. This activity should be carried out in conjunction with ‘Writing an abstract’ and ‘Compiling a bibliography’, with ‘Evaluating scientific writing’ presenting an opportunity to evaluate the work.
Teacher notes and student sheets (770 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (120 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Writing an abstract

Students write an abstract for the article completed in ‘Writing a scientific review article’. It is recommended that this activity is carried out after the students have completed their final draft of the article.
Teacher notes and student sheets (742 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (98 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Compiling a bibliography

Students learn about the importance of a comprehensive and accurate bibliography, before compiling one of their own for the article they wrote about stem cells.
Teacher notes and student sheets (755 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (125 KB)
Powerpoint presentation (687 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Evaluating scientific writing

After completing the article, with abstract and bibliography, the students now learn about assessing their work according to assessment criteria.
Teacher notes and student sheets (766 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (108 KB)
Powerpoint presentation (536 KB)

Lss 50 PixLSS: Resources and audiences

Approaches to communication of a particular topic may vary significantly, according to the audience. This activity is about students’ ability to receive information about stem cells and cloning.
Teacher notes and student sheets (758 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (125 KB)

How do ethics committees reach decisions on new treatments? A role play from the Scottish Institute for Biotechnology Education which gives all the different interest groups a chance to have their say about an experimental stem cell therapy before a decision is made.
http://www.biology.ed.ac.uk/public/sibe/documents/The%20Decision.pdf

Lss 50 PixLSS: Copycat

In this activity students learn what plagiarism is and why it is wrong.
Teacher notes and student sheets (769 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (113 KB)

Review question on Stem Cells

An exam style question on stem cells.
Teacher notes and student sheets (459 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (93 KB)