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LAR 101: Science & Society

Using Lenses to Develop Research Questions

We're going to practice developing more focused research questions using the Lenses described on the Choosing a Topic page of this guide.

  1. Find the other 2-3 people with the same numbered playing cards. 
  2. Skim the overview article on autonomous (self-driving) vehicles.
  3. Referring to the Lens assigned to your group, develop TWO focused questions for the lens. One person in your group will enter each separately on the Padlet page.
  4. As other groups enter their questions, vote on (click the heart icon): 
    • which questions you think would correspond best with the theme of this course
    • OR be more interesting and realistic to research

Understanding Bias

Using the "community of interpretation" that was assigned to your group, determine which of the three statements below is a "lie."

  1. Self-driving cars are good for the economy.
  2. Self-driving cars are safe to operate.
  3. Self-driving cars need a lot of rules and regulation.

The spreadsheets linked below contain three sources to think about as you make your decision. You will practice evaluating these sources using the questions in the spreadsheet. Don't be afraid to look up additional information if you aren't sure about an author or source.

All of the sources are real, legitimate sources - you are not trying to decide which source is a lie, only which of the statements above. However, your assigned community may have an opinion about the content of the source (is their perspective represented or not?).

Remember to be thinking in the mindset of your assigned community - for this activity, try not to let your own personal opinions influence your discussion!

  • Group 1
    Engineers at Tesla, Inc.
    • Perspective: This group develops technology to advance Tesla's business.
  • Group 2
    Representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation
    • Perspective: This group creates policy related to vehicles and transportation issues.
  • Group 3
    Members of a consumer advocacy group such as the Center for Auto Safety
    • ‚ÄčPerspective: This group works to make sure products are safe for consumers to use.
  • Group 4
    Employees of the Crete Carrier Corporation (Commercial truck drivers) 
    • Perspective: This group makes a living by transporting materials around the country.