Ethical Dilemmas in Science, Upcoming Meetings, Community News

Science, Ethics, and Norms are in the news…here are some recent articles with important implications for the education of all students, including future scientists. Recent events raise critical civic questions that lend themselves to SENCER approaches.  

SENCER courses and programs explicitly address both the power and limits of science to address our common challenges, including those in public health. A Chinese researcher has now defied scientific ethics, norms, and guidelines with his claim to have produced the first gene-edited humans to correct disease-causing mutations.  This New York Times article explores why this has scientists upset around the world.

The advance of science and technology is outpacing our ability to determine the common good and to create policies that protect us all from unintended consequences. The current issue of New Scientist identifies the Top Moral Dilemmas in Science, including:

Should we give other animals rights? Should we edit our children’s genes? Should we give robots the right to kill?

SENCER Centers of Innovation (SCI’s) Gear Up for Spring Meetings!  Mark your calendars!

SCI Southwest

The SENCER Center for Innovation—Southwest Spring 2019 Regional Symposium will take place at Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX on February 1, 2019.  This year’s symposium theme will be: Democracy, Civic Engagement and Student Learning.  There will be four plenaries followed by two concurrent tracks: Citizen Science, and Democratic Engagement. Presenters will be nationally known leaders in the SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities) network and Texas Woman’s University. The meeting is free to all participants.  Further details about speakers and registration will be forthcoming.  For any questions, please contact Nasrin Kohan at or Richard Sheardy

Registration is open at:

SCI Midwest

“Save the Date” and plan to join us for the next SCI-Midwest regional meeting on Friday, April 5, 2019.  We will convene at Roosevelt University’s campus in Schaumburg, Illinois for a day of presentations and discussions on the theme of “Innovation and Collaboration in STEM Education”. We welcome educators of all stripes including high school science teachers, college and university faculty, informal science educators and current students.

Details on registration, accommodations, presentations and the meeting program will be available in January.

SCI Mid-Atlantic

“Save the Date” April 5, 2019 for the Regional MidAtlantic SSI Meeting @The New School—STEM, Humanities, & Justice Call for Proposals for Posters, Fireside Chats, Workshops, and Presentations soon to come. Hosted by SENCER Sr. Leadership Fellows Davida Smyth and Katayoun Chamany.

For more information contact or

Useful Resources and Reports 
From SENCER-ISE leader Dave Ucko:

This CoSTEM report describes the new 5-year Federal strategic plan for STEM education. Among other things, it recommends making “STEM learning more meaningful and inspiring to students by focusing on complex real-world problems” (sound familiar?). It also mentions informal learning 29 times!

Community News:

SENCER Sr. Fellow Bob Franco, of Kapiolani Community College, receives Distinguished Leader Award from Western Region Campus Compact. Congratulations, Bob!

NCSCE Exec. Director, Eliza Reilly, is one of six Stony Brook University faculty named 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 

Posted in eNews.

Leave a Reply