EDUCATION: Chemistry Behind the Headlines

Science  12 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5699, pp. 1109d
DOI: 10.1126/science.306.5699.1109d

A researcher who submits a paper to a journal knows it has to pass the scrutiny of other scientists. The Web site Chemistry Is in the News gives students the chance to put their work through peer review while thinking and writing about science's role in current issues, from global warming to OxyContin addiction. Run by chemist Rainer Glaser of the University of Missouri, Columbia, and colleagues, the site provides guidelines to help students write reports about science-related stories that appear in the press. After exploring, say, the chemistry of the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide and its possible effects on society, students can then post their efforts for evaluation by their classmates or students at other universities. In most science courses, says Glaser, “students are not challenged to think in broad terms and write about it.” Teachers can apply to join the four universities already participating.

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