Lost in translation? Deconstructing science in the news through an inquiry-based course
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This report describes an experiment to introduce freshmen science students to inquiry-based learning. The overarching theme was the communication of scientific information to the public by the mass media. Students, working in groups, deconstructed news items (many dealing with basic biomedical issues) and assessed the veracity of statements with reference to published scientific literature. Working as individuals, they wrote news items about the work of researchers whom they had interviewed, who included among others biochemists, molecular biologists, physiologists, pharmacologists, neuroscientists, and nutritionists. This experience enabled freshmen to look critically at mass media, as well as the scientific literature. As this approach transcends disciplinary boundaries, it is relevant for educating future biochemists and molecular biologists.
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