From the Series Compact Research: Current Issues
The development of genetic engineering has allowed scientists to change an organism's looks or function by adding, deleting, or rearranging genes. The resulting technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities-- and a wide array of complex ethical issues-- in the field of biotechnology. The title examines Is Genetic Engineering Safe in Food and Agriculture? Is Genetic Engineering Safe in Humans? Is Human Cloning Ethical? What Policies Should Govern Genetic Engineering?
|Interest Level||Grade 7 - Grade 12|
|Reading Level||Grade 7|
|Series||Compact Research: Current Issues|
|Number of Pages||112|
|Title Format||Reinforced book, Print + Ebook|
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up Each of these comprehensive guides contains a thorough explanation of the scientific field and dispassionately presents the arguments for and against its practices. The format is identical in each, and includes an overview, several long chapters examining sub-topics, and a chapter on key organizations. What makes the books different is that each discussion chapter ends with a collection of primary-source quotes as well as clear, colorful illustrations, including maps, charts, graphs, and photographs that provide excellent visual aids. Unlike the “Opposing Viewpoints” series, which contains longer essays, allowing each writer the chance to make a persuasive argument, these titles summarize the opinions from each side in individual entries such as “Are Animal Experiments Conducted Humanely?” and “What Policies Should Govern Genetic Engineering?” If a teacher’s goal is for students to learn to research, these books will completely undermine that effort. If the goal is for students to take a controversial topic, learn about it, and write persuasive arguments of their own, these titles will be a goldmine.
The strongest element of this series, which currently includes sixteen titles such as Genetic Engineering, Media Violence, Conflict in the Middle East, and Animal Experimentation, is the amount and quality of documentation and further resources provided. Source notes are provided for every quote and statistic within the narrative chapters. The back material includes a chronology, a list of key people and advocacy groups, a list of related organizations, and a bibliography of books, periodicals, and Internet sources, none of which are more than five years old. The obesity volume covers causes, prevention and treatment, as well as the question of whether obesity is a matter of personal responsibility. Genetic Engineering covers the safety of genetically engineered food, the safety of genetic engineering in humans (including the use of stem cells and genetic screening), and the issues surrounding cloning. This series is recommended for students not yet ready to tackle the Opposing Viewpoints or Current Controversies series, as well as those who respond to visual interpretations of the facts.
This series’ stated goal is to present topics in a highly organized, compact fashion that will help students overwhelmed with the amount of information available on current issues to easily identify the content they need. The emphasis is on convenience and readability. Each author breaks down an issue into four subtopics, and covers each subtopic in three formats: a narrative Overview, Primary Source Quotes, and Facts and Illustrations (four or five pages of colorful charts). The narratives introducing each subtopic are objective, clear, thorough, and present all sides of the issues. The Primary Source Quotes comprise one or two sentences from an authority on the subject. They are well chosen to highlight conflicting opinions, but apart from identifying the speaker or writer, they are not placed in context. The Facts and Illustrations content supports the material presented in the overview, but the charts can be confusing, and younger students will require assistance interpreting them.