National Finals of Debating Science Issues Announced

Mar 18 2014 Posted: 10:33 GMT

The All-Ireland Finals of Debating Science Issues (DSI) will take place on 27 March 2014 at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Dublin. Co-ordinated by REDDSTAR’s Dissemination Officer Danielle Nicholson, this All-Ireland competition encourages young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. 

Through a process of single elimination, the field of 32 secondary schools narrowed to just four representing all four provinces in Ireland. The four schools in the final will be: St. Brigid’s Vocational School, Loughrea, Co. Galway; Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast, Co. Antrim; St. Joseph’s Secondary CBS, Fairview, Dublin; and Coláiste Mhuire, Crosshaven, Co. Cork.

The schools will compete in two semi-final rounds of debate focussing on the moral obligation to research with embryonic stem cells to develop new medical treatments. The winners of the two semi-final rounds will go on to debate the allocation of organs donated for transplantation.

“We hope that this collaborative outreach programme 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”, said DSI Coordinator Danielle Nicholson.

Preceding the competition, all participating schools availed of a three hour workshop addressing an area of biomedical research with societal and ethical implications delivered by one of the nine DSI partners in 2014: REDDSTAR, an EU project coordinated at NUI Galway, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, CRANN at Trinity College, W5 in Belfast, INSIGHT at UCD, Cork Institute of Technology and the University of Ulster, Coleraine. 

The DSI 2014 Finals have been generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme project award.

Further information on the Debating Science Issues in available at


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