The ultimate goal of research is to not only learn more about the world around us, but to apply that knowledge in ways that will subsequently benefit society. Scientific research is one of the most important channels of knowledge. It has a specific role, as well as a variety of functions for the benefit of our society: creating new knowledge, improving education, and increasing the quality of our lives. Regardless of whether this research focuses more on the realms of discovery or invention, we have come to realize that there are some controversies in the use of science in society.
Societies have changed over time, and consequently, so has science. Science must respond to societal needs and global challenges. It is important the public is well-informed about the current developments in science and how these developments impact their daily lives, so that they can form their own opinions on these matters.
However, most literature is written for the academic scholar, often using jargon-filled and dry language that can be difficult for most to grasp. Our mission is to embrace and capture the essence of scientific controversies and present it to the public in a straight-forward manner. In order to keep society informed about these developments we need to give it a “human face” and tell the story of science in simple and accessible ways that people can relate to.
For this writing competition, students may choose one of four controversies in science. The goal is to write a 750-1000 word article in newspaper or literature review format that describes and evaluates the controversy for the general high-school educated public.
The writing should not only accurately articulate the issue and the science behind it, but it should be understandable and engaging. In evaluating the topic, students should carefully explain key sides of the argument. Though students are encouraged to think critically, they should still give credence to opposing arguments. More of our rules and guidelines can be found here.