W5 - Debating Science Issues

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Debating Science Issues

Debating Science Issues is a dynamic debating competition which invites young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science.

Open to AS Level Students in Northern Ireland and students in the Senior Cycle of secondary school in the Republic of Ireland, the competition aims to:

  • encourage young people to take an active interest in biomedical science and to engage with contemporary research
  • facilitate discussion amongst young people on the advances in the biomedical field and the societal and ethical impact of this research
  • stimulate young people to think differently about biomedical science, as they discover the immense impact it has on society and to consider a career or education in this field
  • expose students and teachers not normally involved in the traditional sciences to the area of biomedical science
  • generate awareness of biomedical research within the broader school community


"The competition provided a great opportunity for students to expand their communication and scientific skills. The fact that the students can link it to everyday societal changes gives it an edge" Teacher from 2013 competition

Debates cover the following biomedical topics, and support materials for all of these topic areas can be downloaded on the right hand side of this page:

• Stem Cell Research
• Genetically Modified Food
• Nanotechnology
• Health & Self Testing
• Vaccinations
• Animal Testing

Participating schools will also have the opportunity to avail of a 3-hour interactive student workshop on biomedical science before the debating competition begins.

Full information on the initiative can be found here. If you would like to know more about the programme or wish to enquire about your school being involved this year please contact Matt Craig on (028)90 46 7713 or email matthewcraig@w5online.co.uk.

  • Additional Material