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Welcome to the Scientific Integrity Curriculum Guide

Thank you for your interest in the second edition of the UCS Scientific Integrity Curriculum Guide. You can download the full curriculum guide or individual sections below. We have provided many files as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents* so that you can edit them for your classroom.

To download the full curriculum guide as two zip files, click on the links below. These are large files (about 6 MB), and may take a few minutes to download:

To download an individual section of the curriculum materials, click on the section title:

  • Introduction (pdf)—Outlines the materials contained in the curriculum guide, including the list of primary sources for the lecture slides and worksheets. Also highlights national curriculum standards met by these lessons.
  • Lectures
    • Slide Set I (zip file) – This master list of PowerPoint slides is divided into four parts: background and concepts, examples of political interference in federal science, examples of regulatory changes that have damaged scientific integrity, and suggested reforms. You can create your own presentation using relevant slides or use this master list to supplement the sample lectures below.
    • Slide Set II (zip file)– This set contains three structured lectures:
      • Introduction (Concepts Only) – This lecture is an introduction to scientific integrity, made with a selection of slides from Slide Set I.
      • Introduction (Short and Long) – These are more in-depth, stand-alone lectures. Teachers who used the 2007 Scientific Integrity Curriculum Guide will recognize these as the one- and two- day lectures from the original curriculum release.
    • Slide Set III (zip file) – This set contains five subject-oriented lectures that each focus on how the issue of scientific integrity in federal policy-making relates to a specific topic. The lectures contain case studies in climate change, endangered species, health, the environment, and chemistry. 
  • Worksheets (zip file)—Targeted exercises that focus on different aspects of the scientific integrity issue. They can be used inside the classroom to inspire discussion or outside the classroom as homework assignments. Examples of appropriate responses are also provided for the instructor. Topics include:
    • Advisory committees—Students will study the composition of independent advisory committees and consider the effects on science-based policy when these committees are manipulated or suppressed.
    • Consequences—Several real-world examples of political interference in science are provided; students are asked to identify the type of interference and describe its consequences.
    • Media policy—Students are asked to consider when a federal agency's media policy violates its scientists' free speech or scientific rights. 
    • Scientific consensus—Students will examine common misconceptions about the role of consensus and uncertainty in science, and will consider the role the news media plays in science communication.
    • Primary documents—Samples of actual leaked documents allow students to investigate alleged political interference and draw their own supportable conclusions.
  • Assignments (zip file)—Students can choose between activities such as writing to an elected official or newspaper, interviewing a scientist, or designing a public outreach campaign. Research essay topics are suggested for a more in-depth project.
  • Resources (pdf)—Links to background information on the issue of scientific integrity, including newspaper articles, scholarly journal reviews, and analyses from other nonprofit groups.

*If you cannot open Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files on your computer, you can download a zip file of the curriculum materials in PDF format instead.

UCS welcomes your feedback to help us expand and improve this guide; please send your comments or suggestions to rsi@ucsusa.org.

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