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Re: [SACC-L] Science Daily.com article

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  • Deborah Shepherd
    I am impressed. I wouldn t have guessed we d do so well. On the other hand, what we seem to gain in educational opportunities (for those privileged to go to
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 27, 2007
      I am impressed. I wouldn't have guessed we'd do so well. On the other hand, what we seem to gain in educational opportunities (for those privileged to go to our exceeding expensive colleges) gets twisted around by religico-cultural anti-science values. In other words, people who do know better actually convince themselves that science is just wrong where it conflicts with other ways of knowing. So now I wonder why students think it is so astounding to be asked to learned the evidence and principles of evolution if they already have decided they don't "believe in" it. The parental generation has already decided that they can know science but still selectively reject whole bodies of such knowledge

      Hmmm. Time for me to go home.


      Deborah J. Shepherd, Ph.D.
      Anthropology and Sociology
      Anoka-Ramsey Community College
      Coon Rapids Campus
      email: deborah.shepherd@...
      new phone number: 763-433-1195

      >>> ann.popplestone@... 2/27/2007 4:20:22 PM >>>

      Scientific Literacy: How Do Americans Stack Up?

      Science Daily <http://www.sciencedaily.com> - Having a basic knowledge
      of scientific principles is no longer a luxury but, in today's complex
      world, a necessity.

      And, according to a Michigan State University researcher, while
      Americans are holding their own, they are not even close to where they
      should be.

      Participating at 3:45 p.m. PST today in an American Association for the
      Advancement of Science symposium, titled "Science Literacy and
      Pseudoscience," MSU's Jon Miller said that Americans, while slightly
      ahead of their European counterparts when it comes to scientific
      knowledge, still have a long way to go.

      "A slightly higher proportion of American adults qualify as
      scientifically literate than European or Japanese adults, but the truth
      is that no major industrial nation in the world today has a sufficient
      number of scientifically literate adults," he said. "We should take no
      pride in a finding that 70 percent of Americans cannot read and
      understand the science section of the New York Times."

      Approximately 28 percent of American adults currently qualify as
      scientifically literate, an increase from around 10 percent in the late
      1980s and early 1990s, according to Miller's research.

      A professor in political science, Miller said one reason for the
      Americans' slim lead is that the United States is the only major nation
      in the world that requires its college students to take general science

      "Although university science faculties have often viewed general
      education requirements with disdain," he said, "analyses indicate that
      the courses promote civic scientific literacy among U.S. adults despite
      the disappointing performance of American high school students in
      international testing."

      Adding to the United States' relatively good showing is Americans' use
      of informal science education resources, such as science magazines, news
      magazines, science museums and the Internet.

      Why is it important to have a population wise in the ways of science?
      Miller listed several reasons, including the need for a more
      sophisticated work force; a need for more scientifically literate
      consumers, especially when it comes to purchasing electronics; and,
      equally as important, a scientifically literate electorate who can help
      shape public policy.

      "Over recent decades, the number of public policy controversies that
      require some scientific or technical knowledge for effective
      participation has been increasing," he said. "Any number of issues,
      including the siting of nuclear power plants, nuclear waste disposal
      facilities, and the use of embryonic stem cells in biomedical research
      point to the need for an informed citizenry in the formulation of public

      To be classified as "scientifically literate," Miller said one must be
      able to understand approximately 20 of 31 scientific concepts and terms
      similar to those that would be found in articles that appear in the New
      York Times weekly science section and in an episode of the PBS program

      Miller is the Hannah Professor of integrative studies at MSU. He has
      appointments in the Division of Mathematics and Science Education and
      the Department of Political Science.

      Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Michigan
      State University.

      Ann Popplestone AAB, BA, MA

      CCC Metro TLC



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