Socio-Scientific Issues in STEM
Education: Technology

Is digitization really progress?

Especially since the Sars-Covid 2 crisis which started in 2020 digitalization became a prominent topic in media and politics?

Educational institutions, public facilities and companies began to develop and implement digitization concepts for almost all areas. Opponents, however, criticize the immense amount of energy and raw materials needed to produce and operate electronic devices and services.

So what is true? Is digitalisation really a form of progress or not?







SSIs in this Example

Characteristics of SSIs

How to use SSIs in STEM Ed

Digitization is a comparatively new goal in various areas and has an influence on economical, ecological and psychological factors. The weighting of the individual factors consequently leads to different opionions.


  • SSIs have a basis in science and require people to engage in dialogue, discussion, and debate.
  • They are mainly controversial in nature. 
  • They require forming opinions and making decisions including scientific, moral, ethical or social reasoning issues.

Dealing with SSI’s

  • Dealing with these issues requires evaluating incomplete information because of conflicting or incomplete scientific evidence and incomplete reporting
  • Often these issues involve a cost-benefit analysis in which risk interacts with ethical reasoning.

The goal is to understand how different opinions evolve and strengthen.

  1. Read the text carefully!
  2. How do you position in this context!
  3. Put yourself in the role of an expert. How would you argue…
    1. … if you oppose the case?
    2. … if you do not oppose the case?
  4. Do your own (internet) research.
    1. Find list of (seemingly) scientific based arguments favoring respectively opposing the arguments in this case
    2. Elaborate on the connection between the case and scientific facts. 
  5. What other aspects influence the perception of this case?

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