In its eighth year, Debating Science Issues (DSI) is an All-Ireland science debating competition that encourages young people to engage in dialogue on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. The programme of workshops, debates and STEM careers promotion was coordinated through REDDSTAR for the last two years. The eighth All-Ireland Finals of Debating Science Issues (DSI) took place on 29 April 2015 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 1. The video below provides a snapshot of the project.
Preceding the competition, all participating schools (32-40) avail of a 3 hour workshop addressing an area of biomedical research and the surrounding societal and ethical issues. To communicate REDDSTAR’s research objectives, a workshop to highlight the implications and the treatment of lifestyle-related diseases was facilitated at schools in the west of Ireland. This workshop was developed with input from Prof. Tim O’Brien, REDDSTAR Co-ordinator based at NUI Galway. Other workshop and debate topics include stem cell research, GM foods, nanotechnology, health & self-testing kits, immunology practices, orphan drug development, and organ transplantation allocation systems. Supporting educational materials were created as ‘open access’ resources and many have been translated to other European languages such as Irish, Spanish, Slovakian and Hungarian through Scientix.
The nine DSI cross-border partners include: REDDSTAR coordinated at NUI Galway, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College Cork, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at Dublin City University, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Amber at Trinity College Dublin, W5 in Belfast, INSIGHT at University College Dublin, Cork Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, Coleraine. For three years, the DSI Finals have been generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme project award. The project was initially developed and supported by five Wellcome Trust People Awards.