Cell Phone Use and Cancer: A Case Study to Explore the Scientific Method
“Alisa, please, get off your cell phone already,” said her mother. “But mom! I want to talk with my friends! Plus our Sprint plan has unlimited minutes!” Alisa whined in response. Annoyed by her mother’s impatience, she mumbled: “Jeez! We stopped paying for nights and weekends decades ago!” “This is not about the money. This is about your health. I’ve heard that there is a link between cell phones and cancer,” Alisa’s mother explained. “You’re right!” said Alana, Alisa’s sister, cutting in. “In my Scientific Literacy class we are going to discuss some articles about a study that has been performed on cell phone use and its effect on health. The professor asked us to analyze the articles and a video in preparation for class,” Alana added. “And what did the study reveal? Has such a link been proved?” asked her mother, interested in hearing more. Now I’m even more confused. Do cell phones cause cancer or not? Can I use mine or not?” asked Alisa impatiently.
“Well, I have my own opinion but I am really interested in hearing what my classmates have to say on the topic. This is all so very interesting and relevant. Let me check our class online Discussion Board. We are also scheduled to discuss the topic in-depth in class on the April 14th. I will keep you guys posted,” Alana said.
Adapted from “Cell Phone Use and Cancer” by Wilma V. Colón Parrilla
The class has been organized into groups of four.
Step 1: Select a Team Leader.
Step 2: Read and analyze the epidemiology research paper Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Acoustic Neuroma.
Step 3: Decide which member of the group will prepare responses to each of the questions below. Use Discussion Board 1 to post the initial response. Be sure and list the question first followed by the response.
- What is the purpose of the research described in the journal article?
- What methods did the researchers use?
- What conclusions were drawn from the study?
- How much credibility do you give to the results of the study? Why?
Step 4: Every team member to post in Discussion Board 1 at least 1 comment in reply to a classmates’ response to Step 3.
Step 5: Given classmates’ comments/feedback, revise responses in Step 3 as appropriate and submit to Team Leader.
Step 6: Team Leader to submit the final responses to the questions in Step #3 to the Instructor via email to email@example.com by 11:59 pm midnight on April 13th.
Step 7: Each team member to briefly summarize what was learned from this group activity. Post your response to Discussion Board 2 before class on April 14th.
We will discuss this topic in-depth in class on April 14th.