Special Session Chair


Ümran Betül CEBESOY

Assoc. Prof. Dr.

Rethinking Socioscientific Issues in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Session Submission ID: EDUCCON2020-02

Definition and Cover of the Special Session

Socioscientific issues (SSI) refer to the complex, open-ended, and ill-structured problems that have ties with science, technology, and society closely. Ethical and moral dimensions are often undeniably part of the informed decision-making process while considering other dimensions such as policy and economy in SSI. What exactly do SSI offer for the Covid-19 era? Since the beginning of 2020, the world is facing a crisis that has been introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic which has huge social, economic, and emotional pressure on humans. A new ‘normal’ with masks, gloves, total shutdowns of many places like cafes, restaurants, or factories, all countries are taking their precautionary measures to deal with the Covid-19. Besides the increasing number of fatalities, the economic and social effects along with the psychological effects are making things worse.

Moreover, some technical reports are showing a decline in the weather pollution rates because of closing industrial factories while others reporting a huge increase in plastic use showing pictures of masks, gloves, wraps, and other disposable products in the oceans as well. There is an ongoing debate about the vaccination for Covid-19. All countries (mostly pharmaceutical industries) are spending huge effort to find the correct vaccine for the Covid-19 viruses. Some countries like Russia or the United Kingdom have already ordered millions of doses before its final approval. Furthermore, the media itself is making things harder to understand. The increasing number of commercials showing disinfectants, cleaning supplies, or washing machines insist on killing 99% of bacteria are making things more complicated. Could Covid-19 viruses be killed with disinfectants or other kinds of cleaning supplies? What is the difference between the bacteria and the viruses? Are all the same? Here, at this point, public understanding of science and scientific knowledge becomes more crucial to deal with the ambiguities introduced with Covid-19. The SSI can provide an appropriate context for dealing with the uncertainties in this pandemic which can facilitate public understanding of science, scientific endeavor, and informed decision-making. This special session calls for studies focusing on SSI which can cover SSI, the nature of science aspects connecting with SSI, informed-decision making skills, and the distance education opportunities that can be used for pre-service, in-service teacher education, and K-12 education.

Topics for Special Session

Socioscientific Issues (SSI), the Covid-19 and SSI, the Covid-19 and the NOS, Nature of Science and SSI, Informed Decision-Making, Controversial Issues, Distance Education and SSI, SSI-based instruction, SSI-based learning, SSI and Pre-service and In-service Science Teacher Training.

Accepted Presentations

Will be Announced