EPI•STEM Lecture Series: A talk by Dr Naira Díaz Moreno

Naira Diaz
A talk by Dr Naira Díaz Moreno, University of Almeira, Spain


Thursday 26th November, 12h00 to 13h00, Room A1-065


Title of Talk:

Studying Socioscientific Issues in the Press: The case of water as a local controversial topic



Socioscientific issues arise and problematize the most current and emerging subjects in our society, transferring the debate to the public arena and becoming a potential driver of scientific literacy. The press is also a major channel for spreading scientific news, and therefore, may be a generator of socioscientific issues (SSI). However, even though we have found studies about the press in the literature in which the content of socioscientific issues and the consensus/controversial nature of science news in the written press are analyzed, none of these studies specify how such news was determined to be a socioscientific issue. With such a gap, how can we know whether a controversial topic in the news is a socioscientific issue?
This paper presents an instrument made up of seven SSI indicators which were found by using a mixed quantitative methodology. The indicators were applied to a local controversial topic, the subject of water in Almeria (Spain) in order to verify whether this subject is treated as a SSI in the press and whether it actually is one. The results found may also be applied to the treatment of other local controversial topics in the press for their use with SSI in the science classroom. Moreover, these indicators, extracted from the local press which is usually smaller and simpler than the national papers, can easily be extrapolated to the national or world press.


Short biography:

Naira has a Degree in Pharmacy (University of Granada) and is an Associate Lecturer at University of Almería since 2007. In 2009 she obtained a PhD Research and Teaching fellowship granted by Andalusian Regional Government, co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in Science Education
In 2013 she completed her PhD in Science Education with International Mention and also obtained a Postdoctoral fellowship. From 2013 up to the present she is a Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Assistant (undergraduate and graduate students). She has been on several research visits and seminars in national and international Universities such as the Science Education Department of the University of Zaragoza (Spain), the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education & Applied Psychology of the University of Padova (Italy). Also, she met and discussed her research with the National Science Foundation funded research team MADECLEAR - Maryland and Delaware Climate Change Education and Research, College of Education at the University of Maryland.
She is currently involved in an investigation group (University of Almería, Science Education Department) working on Innovation and Investigation in STEM and is also  a researcher in the Project Assessment of Sensor Calculators in Laboratory Practices in Andalusian Schools and Analysis of their Influence on the Development of Scientific Competence. Her fields of research are: Socioscientific Issues, Science Education Based Inquiry, Argumentation, Decision-Making, Critical Reading and Scientific Competence.