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The BDI's Clare Scalzo chairs the DSI Finals in the RSCI

DEBATING SCIENCE ISSUES ROUNDS UP FOR 2012

05.12



This year's Debating Science Issues competition was fiercely contested by over 40 schools nationwide. The ultimate champions were the team from Clonakilty Community College, Cork.

The finals took place on Thursday, 19 April, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin. The winning teams from each region went head-to-head, debating the ethics of both Stem Cell research and Animal Testing in the semi-final and the final respectively. Congratulations also go to the runners-up St. Catherine's Vocational School, Killybegs, Co. Donegal, and the other finalists from St. Andrew's College, Dublin, and Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town.

Danielle Nicholson, DSI Coordinator and Outreach Officer with REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: "We hope that this collaborative outreach project is a useful tool in facilitating increased awareness of the important research taking place in Ireland among young people and the Irish public in general. It is imperative that dialogue surrounding advances in science occurs and continues. While it is important for research centres to communicate to the public, it is equally important for researchers and academics to listen to what the public, including young people, think of this work. At a time when scientific research itself is taking so many different directions, it is critical that the doors for discussion remain open so that we can ensure that everyone has their say on the societal and ethical implications of biomedical research."

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the workshop series and debating competition is coordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with eight science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland including: REMEDI, NUI Galway; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; CRANN in Trinity College Dublin; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; W5 in Belfast; Clarity at UCD; Centre for Cross Border Studies, Armagh; and Cork Institute of Technology.

This year, BDI worked with teams from Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, St. David's Holy Faith, Greystones, Scoil Chaitriona, Glasnevin and St. Paul's CBS, North Brunswick Street. The competition in the Leinster region was hard fought, and sadly none of our teams reached the finals this year. Here's to next year!