This activity teaches skills in critical assessment of the peer-reviewed published literature. It focuses on analysis of clinical trials in mental health, but the principles and methods are readily generalizable to other scientific literature. The “Smackdown” approach represents an augmentation of the traditional “journal club” mode of teaching critical scientific reading skills.
In this simulation activity, students decide which of two companies, each using a different CRISPR genome-editing technology, to invest in. They engage with research on CRISPR genome editing to understand how unintended consequences of one technology used for this editing had real-world business implications. The storytelling element adds immediacy to the activity, making it imaginative and engaging, and students are pushed toward achieving higher levels of competence within Bloom’s taxonomy for the subject area.