WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Citizenship actions to address harms associated with fields of science and technology.

On this page, starting with this  overview, you will find resources to support socio-political actions students (citzens) may take (based on research & negotiation) to address harms they determine in relationships among fields of science and technology and societies and environments (STSE).

If you have any comments, questions, etc. about this project or would like to join it, please contact me by email.

Action Types. Rationale.  Resources.

Socio-political Action Types
People have many choices of socio-political action types

Some different ways that students and others can act to address harms they determine in STSE relationships are depicted here - with a few examples linked below:

People may choose actions for different reasons, including how their 'talents' (e.g., language- vs. arts-based) may best be used, along with how effective might be their actions.

Our research strongly indicates that larger-scale changes in societies can come when people use several actions that cooperate with each other as a network of actions - such as uses of social media to distribute a message.

Many students choose to develop educational forms of action. For example, students carried out  secondary (e.g., Internet-based) and primary (e.g., a study) before developing the video at left - in which they encourage people to re-consider drinking water from plastic water bottles. This is, in other words, a very good example of students' research-informed and negotiated (RiNA) projects.

By itself, this video seems quite effective. It was networked, to some extent, by being posted to YouTube™. Posters, pamphlets, school announcements and a Twitter campaign may also have helped.

Some other effective video act
ions include:
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Rationale for Socio-political Actions
There are many possible reasons behind various personal, social and environmental harms that humans face.

Much research points, however, to neoliberal capitalists; that is, people and groups - such as financiers, money managers and transnational corporations - that appear to have orchestrated many other entities in the world in ways promoting private profit. Among entities strongly influenced by capitalists - with support from many governments and trans-national entities (e.g., WTO, OECD, etc.), for example - are fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics ('STEM'). Often, as claimed by Dr. Sheldon Krimsky via the link at right, capitalist supports have led people in STEM fields to make decisions about topics, inquiry design and reporting and uses of results that mainly benefit a small number of capitalists. Such influences appear to have been effective, judging from how wealth is now concentrated into few (e.g., 6) hands. Such wealth concentration appears to be directly associated with many personal, social and environmental harms.

Given how governments, transnational organizations and many other entities in the world appear to be helping (e.g., via capitalist-friendly laws) to funnel wealth and wellbeing towards few advantaged people and groups, it seems imperative that school science (for one!) work to help students become more critical of how STEM fields are being used and to take actions to address their concerns.

Resources for Socio-political Actions
Although developing and taking actions to make a better world is very personal, people may benefit from resources linked at right.

Some relevant reading also may help; e.g.,
Sources of Topics
STSE Issues List.
Global Issues.
Science Case Collection.
Tools for Research
Experiments vs. Studies.
Google Forms (tables & graphs).
Analyze Text.
Types of Actions
Making petitions: A, B, C.
InfoGraphic Maker.
Podcase Maker.
Canadian Youth Climate Coalition.
Toronto 350.
Me to We.

Leap Manifesto.
No Child for Sale.
Kids Right to Know.
People for Good.
Lead Now.
Beyond Factory Farming.
Seeds of Diversity.
Public Space Committee.

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