Teenagers rarely discuss the social and ethical implications of scientific advances, the Wellcome Trust reports. Unless encouraged to question and argue, the "genome generation" will grow up ill-equipped to understand the changing world, it says.
The Institute of Education surveyed more than 300 schools and colleges in England and Wales to find out how often and how deeply they considered ethical issues. In many schools, science was largely taught as a "value-free" zone, while the humanities were perceived as "value laden". Science teachers often blamed the exam-led curriculum and called for more resources.
Valuable Lessons: engaging with the social context of science is available from: The Wellcome Trust, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Tel: 020 7611 8416. Web: www.wellcome.ac.uk