Active learning instruction: combination of methods of instruction in which students are actively engaged in learning.
Alignment: ensuring that methods of active learning – including activities and assessments -will help students meet learning goals.
Assessments: methods and tools for gauging progress toward and achievement of the learning goals. Often categorized as formative and summative (see definitions below).
ALLEA: All European Academies, is a network of national academies of sciences and of humanities from Western, Central, and Eastern Europe. The current membership comprises 53 academiese from 40 countries; for more information see http://www.interacademies.net/File.aspx?id=21281.
Baby-boomers: people born between 1946 and 1964.
Backward design (reverse design): design of instructional materials and plans by first setting the learning goals, then determining what outcomes would reflect the attainment of those goals, and finally designing the aligned activities and assessments that will enable the accomplishment of the learning goals.
Bioethics: the discussion of controversial ethical practices brought about by advances in biology and medicine.
Biological containment: the combination of safety and security measures used to ensure that microorganisms capable of infection do not escape the research laboratory.
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC): disarmament treaty signed in 1972 that prohibits the development and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons, along with the means of their weaponization and delivery. The BWC was the first international agreement to ban an entire class of weapons.
Biosafety: “the containment principles, technologies and practices that are implemented to prevent unintentional exposure to pathogens and toxins or their accidental release” (WHO, 2006:iii).
Biosecurity: “the protection, control and accountability for valuable biological materials[including information] … within laboratories in order to prevent their unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release” (WHO, 2006:iii).
Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP): U.S. State Department Program “committed to developing cooperative international programs that promote the safe, secure and responsible use of biological materials that are at risk of accidental release or intentional misuse” (http://www.bepstate.net/).
Bloom’s taxonomy: the six levels of cognition that represent a continuum of increasingly more conceptual learning tasks: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
Code of Conduct: scientific organizations as well as governments have or support codes of conduct as one way to establish and promote responsible conduct, “thereby reducing threats
associated with malign misuse of science, particularly areas associated with modern biotechnology” (Rappert, 2003).
Cognition: mechanisms that the brain uses to acquire and process knowledge and analyze information.
Cognitive science: the scientific discipline of the study of cognition.
Data fabrication: the presentation or publication of data that have not been generated through legitimate scientific processes or that are not supported by experimental results.
Data falsification: manipulation of data in any way that changes or omits data.
DBER: discipline-based education research, a collection of related research fields that study how students learn the knowledge, concepts, and practices of a particular discipline.
Dual use dilemma: The problem that arises in the life and other sciences because the same line of research could have the potential for great benefits but also for yielding knowledge, tools, or techniques that could be used to cause deliberate harm.
Dual use research: research intended for beneficial purposes that could nonetheless be misused for malevolent purposes.
Dual use research of concern: “Research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a threat to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, or materiel” (NSABB, 2007).
European Science Foundation (ESF): 72 member organizations dedicated to scientific research from 30 European countries comprise the European Science Foundation; for more information, see http://www.esf.org/.
Formative assessment: ongoing informal, low-stakes methods to provide information to both learners and instructors about next steps during the learning process.
Generation X: people born between early 1960s and the early 1990s.
Higher order cognitive skills (HOCS): complex judgment skills involving analysis, evaluation and creation of new knowledge (i.e., synthesis) as opposed to lower order cognitive skills (LOCS), or the learning of facts and concepts. LOCS typically correspond to the levels 1 -3 of Bloom's Taxonomy while HOCS correspond to levels 4-6 of Bloom's Taxonomy.
Human Genome Project: international scientific project with the primary goal of determining the entire DNA sequence (specific base pairs) and the estimated 20,000-25,000 genes encoded by those base pairs, on the 23 chromosomes of a human genome.
IAC: The InterAcademy Council, representing all of the world’s science academies, “reports on scientific, technological, and health issues related to the great global challenges of our time, providing knowledge and advice to national governments and international organizations” (IAC in Brief [online]. Available at: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/23450/27799.aspx).
IAP—The Global Network of Sciences Academies: as one of its core activities IAP, which now includes over 105 national science academies, “works closely with its member academies to strengthen the role that science plays in society and to advise public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues” (About IAP [online] Available at: http://www.interacademies.net/About.aspx).
International Committee of Medical Journal’s (ICJME) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts: set of guidelines produced by the ICJME for standardizing the ethics, preparation
and formatting of manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals.
Jigsaw exercise: cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a “home” group to specialize in one aspect of a learning unit and then instruct and guide the other members of the home group. Each member of the group is essential to the completion of the unit.
Knowledge construction: learning theory developed by the education philosopher David Ausubel that proposes that learning builds upon and accommodates the experience of the learner, who integrates new knowledge into a personal framework or scaffold based upon those experiences.
Learning gains: “the percentage (or fraction) of the possible improvement that was actually achieved by students from pre to post-test, i.e., <g> = (Post - Pre)/(Perfect Score - Pre) x 100” (Thornton, 2008).
Learning goals: what students will know, understand and be able to do by the end of an instructional unit.
Lower order cognitive skills (LOCS): knowledge questions that require simple recall of information or simple application of known theory or concept; problems that can be solved without necessarily being understood.
MENA region: Middle East—North Africa region.
Meta-analysis: systematic method of integrating data from a number of studies addressing the same problem.
Metacognition: the process by which learners are aware of their levels of learning and, through that recognition, set learning goals, design approaches to achieve them, and monitor and evaluate progress towards the goals.
Millennial generation: people born between late 1970s and the early 2000s.
NIH: The National Institutes of Health, agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the primary U.S. government agency responsible for biomedical and health-related research.
National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB): “a US. Federal government advisory committee chartered to provide advice, guidance, and leadership regarding biosecurity oversight of dual use research” (http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/about_nsabb.html).
NSF: The National Science Foundation, a U.S. government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.
OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization dedicated to helping governments tackle the economic, social, and governance challenges of a globalised economy.
ORI: Office of Research Integrity, one of the bodies concerned with research integrity in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Plagiarism: appropriation of the ideas, language or expression of another. The precise delineation of an act of plagiarism is unclear and is considered culturally defined by some, although scientific standards with respect to publications and data do exist.
Recombinant DNA (rDNA): the transfer of DNA sequences from one organism to another by splicing or transplantation Reverse-design: see backward design.
Risk: the potential that an activity or action may lead to a loss or some undesirable outcome.
Risk/benefit: the comparison of the risk of an action, activity or situation with its benefit.
Scaffolding: the framework of experience that learners use to organize and integrate new information in the process of knowledge
construction and that instructors can provide to support learning.
Science of learning: research that seeks to understand learning at many levels of scientific inquiry, including physiology, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, cognition, sociology, developmental biology and genetics.
Scientific teaching: the pedagogical approach to the teaching of science that uses active learning methods and aligned assessments to measure learning with the same rigor as scientific research.
Soft law: “In the context of international law, soft law refers to guidelines, policy declarations or codes of conduct which set standards of conduct. However, they are not directly enforceable” (http://definitions.uslegal. com/s/soft-law/).
STEM: acronym for fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Summative assessment: evaluation of student learning at the end of an instructional unit; such measures of accountability are generally used as part of the grading process.
Synthetic biology: “the design and re-design of biological parts, devices and systems” (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/systemsbiology).
Synthetic DNA: artificially created strands of DNA made in the laboratory; the structure of the building blocks of DNA (4 bases with sugar and phosphates attached) are well understood and can be created de novo in the laboratory with increasing speed and lower cost.
Think, Pair, Share: activities that pose a question and allow students to consider the problem alone before discussing it with a classroom neighbor and then presenting conclusions to the class as a whole.
Transmissibility: the ability of an infectious agent to be passed from one host to another and cause disease.
Transmissionism: the tendency towards a more conventional, teacher-centered mode of instruction, with knowledge meant to be transmitted from teacher to pupil with little to no active learning methods involved.
UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a body within the UN that encourages international peace and universal respect by promoting collaboration among nations.
WHO: World Health Organization, a specialized UN agency that is concerned with promoting international public health.