Initial Publication Date: December 22, 2008

These five examples showcase various uses of the structured academic controversy format.

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Science and Religion: Teaching of Evolutionary Theory Evolution is a fundamental theory of modern geosciences and life sciences, yet it is one of the most controversial issues within science education. The origins of the controversy have both historical and philosophical roots. In this SAC, the issues surrounding contemporary and historical decisions regarding the teaching of evolutionary theory, creationism, and other views are explored.

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Climate Change Climate change, accepted by most scientists as a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors, has far-reaching implications for ecological systems, human practices, and economic development. What role can or should international and national policies play in mitigating climate change? What is the trade-off between economic development and ecological stability?

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Protection of Wolves: Biological Ecosystems and Human Interests After being extirpated from Yellowstone Park and other western habitats in the 1930s, gray wolves were reintroduced during the 1980s. The recovery effort has been so successful that gray wolves may no longer be considered a threatened species and may be subject to unrestricted hunting.

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Animal Rights and Welfare The relationship of animals and humans has been the subject of differing philosophical views for thousands of years. The controversy continues today in many aspects of contemporary life.

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Vaccinations Vaccines have been used for thousands of years to protect against infectious diseases. In historic and contemporary society, there have been mixed perspectives on the value of vaccines.

Other possible topics for structured academic controversy include:

  • Offshore oil and gas drilling in the US
  • Nuclear energy: carbon-free but what about radioactive wastes?
  • Hydroelectric dams and wild salmon migration patterns
  • Natural disasters and land use patterns: Who says I can't live in a floodplain?
  • Hurricane Katrina: public policy, land use and geologic factors