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Views of distance education science students on the social responsibility of scientists

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dc.contributor.advisor Rollnick, M. (Prof.) en Röhm, Dürten en 2009-08-25T11:01:02Z 2009-08-25T11:01:02Z 2009-08-25T11:01:02Z 2006-11-30 en
dc.identifier.citation Röhm, Dürten (2009) Views of distance education science students on the social responsibility of scientists, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract Science and technology increasingly impact on society and the environment, making it imperative for scientists to accept their social responsibility and for young scientists to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to respond to the needs of society. Relevant education must be based on information about students' conceptions and attitudes and the identification of areas of intervention. The aim of this thesis is to obtain base line data on the views of distance education science students on issues surrounding the social responsibility of scientists. A research instrument based on the Views on Science-Technology-Society methodology was developed in three phases, employing interviews and free and fixed response questionnaires. Taking the views of students as point of departure, qualitative data analysis at each stage provided the input for the following stage. Participants were drawn over a two year period from science students at various levels of academic study at the University of South Africa. Results reflect the spectrum of factors determining the practice of socially responsible science as well as respondents' associated reasoning. The application of scientific knowledge was seen to be determined by scientific freedom and the ethos of science, with the main focus on the advancement and protection of society. Scientific development in Africa and the role of women in science received special attention. At the science-technology-society interface the key areas which were identified were public communication, decision making and responsibility for the consequences of scientific and technological innovations. Education should provide relevant applied scientific knowledge and social skills, as well as an understanding of philosophical and ethical foundations of science and society. Personal and societal values also determine scientific practice, and there is a need for role models and professional codes of conduct. Science students' voluntary commitment to service in their communities was an unexpected outcome of this research. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Views of distance education science students on the social responsibility of scientists en
dc.type Thesis en en
dc.description.department MATH, SCIENCE and TECH EDU en MSC (CHEMICAL EDUCATION) en

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