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Socially Responsible Science - A Living Resource

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  • Socially Responsible Science

    A Living Resource





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  • Welcome to the Socially Responsible Science Web site where you can find teaching resources for engaging students of school science in inquiry learning about ethical dilemmas associated with social applications of science and technology.




  • To access a Dilemma Story, click on a title below
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Web-site Contents

  • Wild Brumbies

    Photo Credit: Robyn MacRae (Tumbarumba Brumby group) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Nuclear Coolers

    Image Credit: James Marvin Phelps (Flickr)
  • Rice Fish

    Photo credit: Seotaro (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Urban Development

    Photo credit: DVhunter (Flickr)

  • Gold Mining NSW

    Photo Credit: Jack Keily Collection held by Cultural Collections, the University of Newcastle, Australia.


  • Climate Change

    Photo Credit: Thad Roan-Bridgepix


  • As a youth representative of the local Western Swamp Tortoise preservation group, you are confronted by a series of issues concerning the conservation of the tortoise. You must make some difficult and uncomfortable personal decisions concerning the future of Australia's iconic Western Swamp Tortoise.

  • You are an athlete and during a game you injure your knee. Meanwhile, your friend has a degenerative life-threatening disease. Further research in both areas will be equally beneficial to society, yet government funding is sorely lacking. What can and should be done to improve the field of medical research?

  • It is the middle of the Great Depression and you are a newly arrived migrant to Australia. In the "old country" you were a farmer; a vocation you decide to continue here in Australia. You buy land which you cultivate into a market garden. This dilemma story follows your relationship with Australia's delicate ecosystem and the struggles you face, stemming from the 1930's to the 1990's. However, when the "fruits" of your labour begin to show, they are not as you anticipated...

  • You and your family are walking along a beach when you come across approximately 100 stranded whales. Time is running out and it is clear that not all the whales will survive the ordeal, but who should live and who should die? As you work alongside scientists, rangers, locals and tourists to return the whales to the ocean, you are confronted by varying issues relating to human intervention in the natural world.

  • This is a story about life and death. A tree is planted to commemorate Peter's birth. Over the years, Peter and the tree grow together and Peter forms a strong bond with the tree. Years later, it is decided the tree must be killed. Does a life have less value if it is not human? Why and how do we place value on life?

  • You are one of two scientists sent to a remote rainforest in Brazil. Your task: to collect plant samples with which to find a remedy against a deadly virus, carried by returning tourists, now rampaging throughout the "developed" world.  In spite precautionary measures taken, you find out you are ill. Will you choose your career or be socially responsible for the villagers who have placed trust in you?

  • As a little boy you dreamed of building a space rocket and dedicate your entire life to achieve this dream. One day a new government comes into power and rumours spread of prisoner camps, torture, and gas chambers. This same government offers to make you dream a reality! What price will you pay to make your dream come true?

  • These incomplete dilemma teaching stories are available for further development by any interested teacher

  • Why socially responsible science? Evaluating your classroom environment. Background readings.


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Disclaimer

The dilemma stories on this Web-site deal with a range of ethical issues some of which might be considered offensive by some people. While the authors and administrators regret any offense this may cause readers, no responsibility for any such offense can be accepted by either the authors or administrators.