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published by the WGBH Educational Foundation
This video with accompanying interactive activity puts learners in the role of active decision-makers regarding the ethics of a recent experiment to revive the deadly 1918 influenza virus. In 2005, researchers sequenced the germ's genome and published the data on a public database. Other researchers used the genome to bring the long-vanished killer virus back to life.

Was the experiment justified, or should dead viruses be left alone? After watching the 12-minute video, an interactive activity allows learners to explore arguments from both sides, then vote online. They will consider the following: 1) Does the knowledge gained outweigh the risks?
2) What if terrorists recreated the virus?
3) What if the virus accidentally leaked into the environment, like the SARS virus in 2004?
4) Should scientists publish genome sequences of potentially deadly organisms?

Editor's Note: This resource will help students see that scientists must consider the implications of their work, and whether it is responsible to freely publish all findings. Allow 50 minutes.

Please note that this resource requires Flash.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Research Design & Methodology
= Evaluation
- Middle School
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Formats:
application/flash
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2005 WGBH Educational Foundation, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/novacopyright.html
Keywords:
ethical experiments, research ethics, scientific ethics, scientific process
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created October 21, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
September 4, 2018 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 31, 2010

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World (K-12)
  • New technologies can have deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated. Analysis of costs and benefits is a critical aspect of decisions about technology. (9-12)
Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World (2-12)
  • Science knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems—not what should happen. The latter involves ethics, values, and human decisions about the use of knowledge. (9-12)
  • Many decisions are not made using science alone, but rely on social and cultural contexts to resolve issues. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence (2-12)
  • Engaging in argument from evidence in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about natural and designed worlds. Arguments may also come from current scientific or historical episodes in science. (9-12)
    • Construct an oral and written argument or counter-arguments based on data and evidence. (9-12)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence (2-12)
  • Engaging in argument from evidence in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about natural and designed worlds. Arguments may also come from current scientific or historical episodes in science. (9-12)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1C. The Scientific Enterprise
  • 3-5: 1C/E2. Clear communication is an essential part of doing science. It enables scientists to inform others about their work, expose their ideas to criticism by other scientists, and stay informed about scientific discoveries around the world.
  • 6-8: 1C/M3. No matter who does science and mathematics or invents things, or when or where they do it, the knowledge and technology that result can eventually become available to everyone in the world.

3. The Nature of Technology

3C. Issues in Technology
  • 3-5: 3C/E5. Technologies often have drawbacks as well as benefits. A technology that helps some people or organisms may hurt others—either deliberately (as weapons can) or inadvertently (as pesticides can).
  • 6-8: 3C/M6. Rarely are technology issues simple and one-sided. Relevant facts alone, even when known and available, usually do not settle matters. That is because contending groups may have different values and priorities. They may stand to gain or lose in different degrees, or may make very different predictions about what the future consequences of the proposed action will be.
  • 9-12: 3C/H3. In deciding on proposals to introduce new technologies or curtail existing ones, some key questions arise concerning possible alternatives, who benefits and who suffers, financial and social costs, possible risks, resources used (human, material, or energy), and waste disposal.

12. Habits of Mind

12E. Critical-Response Skills
  • 9-12: 12E/H5. Notice and criticize claims that people make when they select only the data that support the claim and ignore any that would contradict it.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)

12. HABITS OF MIND

E. Critical-Response Skills
  • 12E (6-8) #4.  Be aware that there may be more than one good way to interpret a given set of findings.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2005), WWW Document, (https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html).
AJP/PRST-PER
NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus, (WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2005), <https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html>.
APA Format
NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus. (2010, August 31). Retrieved October 26, 2021, from WGBH Educational Foundation: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html
Chicago Format
WGBH Educational Foundation. NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, August 31, 2010. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html (accessed 26 October 2021).
MLA Format
NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2005. 31 Aug. 2010. 26 Oct. 2021 <https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus}, Publisher = {WGBH Educational Foundation}, Volume = {2021}, Number = {26 October 2021}, Month = {August 31, 2010}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus %D August 31, 2010 %I WGBH Educational Foundation %C Boston %U https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html %O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D August 31, 2010 %T NOVA: Reviving the 1918 Virus %I WGBH Educational Foundation %V 2021 %N 26 October 2021 %8 August 31, 2010 %9 application/flash %U https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/1918-flu-poll.html


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