2019 International Conference Competition Topic!

Topic Descriptor

From woolly mammoths to saber-tooth cats, to passenger pigeons and dodos, to a myriad of insects and invertebrates, many species have become extinct over time. This depletion of species has occurred due to environmental changes and human predation. New scientific advancements are leading to unprecedented uses of fossilized materials. Could these archaeological discoveries combined with scientific breakthroughs lead to the long awaited, long speculated, realizations of de-extinction? De-extinction, also called resurrection biology, is the process of resurrecting species that have died out, or gone extinct. De-extinction uses techniques such as cloning to revive an extinct species.

De-extinction is a controversial proposition that has split scientists. Supporters argue that keystone species brought back from extinction will restore environmental equilibrium and provide beacons of hope. It is argued that the ability to bring plants and animals back from extinction will be needed for the survival of an extinction event. Opponents argue that endangered species will receive less attention as they could more easily be brought back from extinction. Where will these revived species be housed and what impact will they have on an already changed habitat?

Technology to revive extinct species is close to being perfected, but does this mean that it should actually be used? What are the ethical pros and cons of reintroducing extinct animals? What limits should be placed on the use of such technology? Should scientists use this to undo environmental harm that has occurred? How might these restored species affect our current biosphere? How might living among de-extinct species affect humanity?

What is De-Extinction?

Watch the short videos below. Learn the meaning of De-Extinction and the methods that might be needed to put the technique into practice. As you watch and learn, think about all of the potential exciting new technologies that might be used.

Create a web of your technology ideas!


Read the articles below. As you read, list a possible challenge for each category. Brainstorm as many solutions as possible to the De-Extinction dilemma!

De-Extinction Vocabulary

Learning vocabulary can help you understand the topic and write well elaborated competition booklets. For each vocabulary word on the list, write a sentence that demonstrates you understand its meaning. Next, write a paragraph about an extinct animal that you would most like to see brought back from extinction. Try to infuse as many vocabulary words as you can into your paragraph.

This writing activity will help you craft better Action Plans!

What is YOUR opinion about DE-EXTINCTION?

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