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The reasoned arguments of a group of future biotechnology technicians on a controversial socioscientific issue: human gene therapy

Simonneaux, Laurence and Chouchane, Habib The reasoned arguments of a group of future biotechnology technicians on a controversial socioscientific issue: human gene therapy. (2011) Journal of Biological Education, vol. 45 (n° 3). pp. 150-157. ISSN 0021-9266

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Abstract

We tried to determine the reasoning behind the stances taken by a group of 19-21-year-old students on the controversial issue of the feasability and acceptability of human gene therapy. The students were in training at a biotechnology institute. We organised classroom debates, punctuated by phases of epistemological "disturbances". We used a variety of resources from authentic genetic therapy cases. We also worked on the reconsideration of Crick's model on the basis of recent results in molecular genetics and genomics. We stimulated critical analysis by presenting texts on the failure of gene therapies. This also encouraged the students to evaluate the empirical evidence, in the light of current molecular biology data that challenges Crick's dogma. We observed an increase in the intensity of the argumentation. According to Habermas, in all the didactic situations forms of communicative action are used less frequently, whereas forms of strategic action are the most prevalent. However we found that in the case of the final situation, the students'discourse was more in keeping with communicative action than in the other situations.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution: Université de Toulouse > Ecole Nationale de Formation Agronomique - ENFA
Université de Toulouse > Université de Toulouse II-Le Mirail - UTM
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Deposited By: Laurence Simonneaux
Deposited On:18 Oct 2012 11:57

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