Credible Science and Real-World Problems


Prepare a report on an emerging or infectious disease where you will be advising your employer (in the scenario) on investment decisions.

 

There is nothing so patient, in this world or any other, as a virus searching for a host.

—Mira Grant, author

Viruses may be patient, but during a global pandemic, how patient are we? When people are scared, they have questions, and they want answers fast. Questions like: Where did this virus come from? How do I stay safe? When will there be a cure? While it’s easy to understand the desire for quick answers, science is often a slow process, requiring rigorous study and careful consideration. Scientists may initially believe a disease is spread one way, and that could change as more data are collected. A treatment option may appear safe at first but not once long-term side effects are discovered. Vanquishing viruses is a challenge that requires integrity, a methodical approach, an openness to new ways of thinking, and an understanding that what we believe today may change tomorrow.

 

Consider the source . . . . Don’t be a fool by listening to a fool.

—Sylvester Stallone, actor

Credible scientific reports, containing valid research and measured conclusions, are published regularly. But, so are articles filled with junk science, or unsubstantiated claims, invalid data, and haphazard conclusions. To make matters more confusing, unscientific articles are often meant to appear credible, in a deliberate attempt to deceive others. So, how can you be sure that what you’re reading is real, rigorous science?

 

What is false in the science of facts may be true in the science of values.

—George Santayana, philosopher

Sometimes, your brain tells you to do one thing, but your gut tells you to do something else entirely. Perhaps, you’re buying a new car, and all the evidence suggests that a minivan is the most economical and reliable choice, but the sedan you test-drove just feels better. So, which do you choose? In science, data and facts are more important than feelings, but when it comes to decisions that affect the public, such as regulations during a pandemic, scientific conclusions, and societal values must both be taken into account.

 

In this assessment, you will grow your problem-solving, innovation, and results-driven skills as you:

 

Learn about bacteria, viruses, and diseases. You will also explore how credible scientific studies are completed, how some conclusions are proven wrong, and why the only thing that can truly refute science is better science.

Learn how to be a better consumer of science—and information in general—by understanding which sources are credible, which aren’t, and how you can tell the difference.

Explore how public health decisions are made, how valid measurements lead to logical conclusions, and how the scientific method inspires new ideas.

Overview

This assessment gives you an opportunity to practice your problem-solving skills. It will show that you can identify credible sources of information and compare and contrast results across varying studies to solve a problem and make a well-informed decision. The ability to interpret scientific information from a variety of sources is essential to make important decisions in everyday life. Problem solving is a universal skill and one you will continue to refine as you progress throughout your career.

 

Preparation

Use the following scenario for this assessment.

 

You are a research assistant at a firm that invests in treating emerging or infectious diseases. Your manager asks you to write a report about treating an emerging or infectious disease your firm is considering for investment. This report should be based on an appropriate and credible source of information. Furthermore, your report should contain these points of information:

 

Your choice of an emerging or infectious disease.

Your chosen disease’s pathogenesis, transmission, and impacts on human and environmental health.

A specific choice of treatment for your chosen disease, summarizing the effectiveness, safety concerns, and limitations.

Discuss active and passive immunity. Is your specific choice of treatment an example of active or passive immunity?

What makes your sources high quality and credible.

Use the Credible Science and Real-World Problems Assessment Template [DOCX] to complete this assessment.

 

Instructions

Complete the following:

 

Step 1: Explain the attributes of a credible and high-quality source. Include examples of credible sources.

Step 2: Summarize the findings and effectiveness of treating your chosen emerging or infectious disease. Include supporting examples.

Step 3: Explain how the drug’s effectiveness was tested. Include supporting examples.

Step 4: Describe the safety concerns surrounding a specific choice of treatment for your chosen disease, especially any adverse side effects.

Analyze the pros and cons of this treatment.

Include supporting examples.

Step 5: Describe any limitations in your choice of treatment for your chosen disease. Include supporting examples.

Additional Requirements

Your submission should meet the following requirements:

 

Written communication: Write in complete sentences free from errors that detract from the overall message.

Font and font size: Arial, 12 point.

Citations: Include complete citations of your sources. Review Evidence and APA for more information on how to cite your sources.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

 

Competency 1: Apply the scientific method to examine the science behind key innovations.

Explain how the drug’s effectiveness was tested.

Competency 2: Analyze credible information to explain how science is currently solving real-world problems.

Explain the attributes of a credible and high-quality source.

Summarize the findings and effectiveness of treating the chosen emerging or infectious disease.

Describe the safety concerns surrounding a specific choice of treatment for the chosen emerging or infectious disease, especially any adverse side effects.

Describe any limitations in the choice of treatment for the chosen emerging or infectious disease.

Competency 4: Address assessment purpose in a well-organized text, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.

Write in a well-organized and concise manner that adheres to the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.

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