Part of The Science Inside series, this booklet on biomedical research talks about how far health and scientific research has come in the last 150 years, making diseases like malaria and measles much less threatening than they once were. It discusses the role science-based research has played in combating disease and the challenges society faces in continuing that fight. It also goes into detail about clinical trials and the role volunteers play in them. Additional resources, a bibliography, and a glossary are also included.
All of the booklets in The Science Inside series can be used to help students build important health literacy skills, such as understanding important preventative health measures; understanding basic health information with a goal towards utilizing it to make appropriate health decisions; and understanding national and international public health and safety issues. Parts 1 and 2 of the booklet would be particularly helpful in instruction related to the Discovering Germs learning goals at the 6-8 level from Benchmarks for Science Literacy. The opening section presents a simple scenario that asks readers to consider changes that have resulted due to medical advances in the past 150 years. The second part goes on to discuss in more specific detail the changes that have improved the health status of modern humans, including the discovery of the role of germs, the improvement in treatment and detection of common illnesses, and the role of technology. Parts 3 and 4 are particularly helpful in studies related to the Nature of Science benchmarks. Part 3 discusses the role of science-based medicine and the development of modern medical research. Part 4 discusses the challenges that yet remain.