Thursday, December 8, 2011

Debating Science

Organisers of a cross border science debating competition have announced that they will once again be funded by the Wellcome Trust to continue their work this year.

Wellcome Trust, the largest independent charity in the United Kingdom has just announced that it will support the Debating Science Issues (DSI) project for a fifth consecutive year with a People Award.

DSI is a cross border schools science debating competition involving 9 collaborating partners:  the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, W5 in Belfast, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI) at DCU, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, CRANN at TCD, CLARITY at UCD, the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh, Cork Institute of Technology and Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC.

Co-ordinated by REMEDI’s Outreach Officer Danielle Nicholson, this All-Ireland competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science.  Schools taking part initially receive a 3 hour biomedical, bioethical workshop to facilitate discussion on the ethical issues raised by stem cell research, genetically modified food, nanotechnology, health and self-testing kits or flu vaccinations.

>>> Watch a video from the 2010 Event
School students research further in preparation for the debate motion related to the initial workshop using a Student Pack of topic guides.  From there, the debate motions circulate so that students debate on an array of controversial topical issues.

‘For 2012, we will create a new topic guide surrounding the funding allocation made to develop treatments and research rare diseases.  We are developing a dedicated DSI website too.’ enthused Danielle Nicholson.

Boston Scientific, Abbott Ireland, Merck- Millipore and Pfizer Ireland sponsor the provincial trophies and prizes.  Forty eight schools will be involved this year.  Updated Topic Guides will be available for download on our websites very soon.  For more information please you can contact

Follow DSI on twitter: @DebatingScience


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