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Cell Phone Use and Cancer

A Case Study to Explore the Scientific Method



Author:

Wilma V. Colon Parrilla
Biological Sciences
University of Puerto Rico
wvcolon@uprrp.edu

Abstract:

In this case study, students analyze a scientific study, first by analyzing news articles reporting on the research and then by reading the original research article. In working through the case, students identify the basic elements of a scientific study; evaluate the study and offer suggestions for improvement; analyze the appropriateness of the headlines of news articles in relation to their content; and compare the accuracy of information offered to the public in a news article with the information presented in a scientific paper. Designed for an introductory course in biological sciences for non-majors, the case could be used in any course that includes the study of the scientific method as well as in a scientific journalism course.

Objectives:
  • Identify the basic elements of a scientific research study.
  • Evaluate a scientific study and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Analyze the appropriateness of the headlines of news articles in relation to their content.
  • Compare the accuracy of information offered to the public in a news article with the information presented in a scientific paper.
  • Appreciate the nature of science and how science affects our lives.
Keywords: Mobile phones; low level RF; long-term exposure; radiofrequency energy; radio waves and health; electromagnetic fields and public health; acoustic neuroma; tumor growth;
Topical Area: Scientific argumentation, Scientific method, Science and the media
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion, Interrupted, Journal Article
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Science (General)   Public Health   Journalism  
Date Posted: 12/5/2006
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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Answer Key


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I used this case in my Physics class. I found out about these cases from my college professor. My high school students really enjoyed it and learned a lot. I can't wait to use other studies that I find on your site.


Clayton Faivor
Science Teacher
Ellsworth Community School
Ellsworth, MI
cfaivor@ellsworth.k12.mi.us
11/4/2010



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