Live Dogs and Dead Vikings

The Mars Viking probes of the mid 1970s were the culmination of the early years of planetary exploration. A major part of their mission was to look for evidence of life on the planet; they found none. Despite this there is still some dissent amongst the original investigators as to what Viking discovered.

Students are provided with a description of the Viking life sciences experiments and are encouraged to compare the approach to that taken by Beagle 2. In addition students can use the material to probe deeper into the capabilities and limitations of the scientific method.

Relevance:

KS 4

Sci 1 a) How scientific ideas are presented, evaluated and disseminated.

Sci 1 b) How scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence.

Sci 1 c) Ways in which scientific work may be affected by the contexts in which it takes place (social, historical, moral & spiritual) and how these contexts may affect whether or not ideas are accepted.

Sci 1 d) Consider the power and limitations of science in addressing industrial, social and environmental questions, including the kinds of questions science can and cannot answer, uncertainties in scientific knowledge and the ethical issues involved

 

Resources

Student's Worksheet

Teacher's Answer Sheet

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