Monday, December 10, 2012

Debating Science Issues

Debating Science Issues (DSI) is a public speaking competition for secondary schools with a science twist. St. Columba's are once again involved this year, although our team is now comprised of TY pupils only including Arthur Moffit, Bethany Shiell, Callan Elliot, Cameron Wood, Alina Stiehler, Mark Russell and Piers Morrell.  Funded by Discover Science & Engineering, DSI aims to engage young people in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Areas like stem cell research, nanotechnology, vaccination or genetically modified foods are amongst the topics up for discussion. Earlier in the term, our team were treated to a workshop from √Čilis McGrath from CRANN - Trinity College's Nanoscience Research Facility - on how to debate and research effectively. The workshop was excellent and kicked started a great run. The team, who rotate speakers from event to event, have been victorious in our first two debates, defeating St. Joesph's in Lucan and Castlecomer Community School in Kilkenny, and taking home the CRANN title. The team will face the winners from UCD CLARITY in the new year. Topics discussed so far have been nanoscience and its potential in environmental science and whether self testing  was the future of health management. Our next debate will centre on ethical issues surrounding stem cell research and the team are already busy formulating their argument. Hopefully our good run will continue right through to the final.

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