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Science - Talking 'pharm' animals

More than 220 pupils from 22 secondary schools heard two of science's biggest talking points - "pharm" animals and the future of nuclear energy - debated last week.

The pupils were taking part in the Scottish Agricultural College's Science for Schools event, which featured senior SAC research scientists who are experts in the fields of animal science and energy production.

The young people were asked to vote on the motions before and after hearing from the scientists, to highlight how they had reacted to the arguments.

The motions up for debate were that it was wrong to produce "pharm" animals (genetically modified to be sources of biopharmaceutical products, not naturally produced by that species) and that it was renewable energy sources - not nuclear power - that would save the planet.

In addition to the debates, the event featured talks and demonstrations designed to inspire pupils into considering a scientific career path. They included how soil analysis can help solve crime and the way in which Scottish scientific research is helping to combat fatal diseases in the developing world.

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