Why Scientific Literacy Matters (Emma Kidder)








“If you are scientifically literate the world looks very different to you. Its not just a lot of mysterious things happening. There is a lot we understand out that. And that understanding empowers you to, first, not be taken advantage of by others who do understand it. And second there are issues that confront society that have science as their foundation. If you are scientifically illiterate, in a way, you are disenfranchising yourself from the democratic process, and you don’t even know it.” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson

“In a democracy, it is very important that the public have a basic understanding of science so that they can control the way that science and technology increasingly affect our lives.” – Stephen Hawking.

“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which the most critical elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster.” – Carl Sagan

If as a society we are scientifically illiterate, we are surely doomed for disaster. Let’s look at how scientific illiteracy affects control of diseases. Measles, for the most part, was eradicated. However, it spread across the country like wildfire since December of 2015. The outbreak is cause of the concerns of the safety of childhood vaccines. More and more parents are not vaccinating their children. However, vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson gives an  explanation:

“Not enough of our society is trained how to understand and interpret quantitative information. This activity is a centerpiece of science literacy to which we should all strive-the future health, wealth and security of our democracy depend on it. Until that is achieved, we are at risk of making under informed decisions that affect ourselves, our communities, our country and even the world.”

I don’t know about you but this scares the hell out of me, and you should be scared too. The stupidity of scientific illiterate people will ultimately be our downfall.




Emma Kidder


One thought on “Why Scientific Literacy Matters (Emma Kidder)

  1. In one of our readings they talked about a divide between those who understand science and those who do not. Based on this divide the authors predicted that we will end up with a society of those who have and those who have not. We already live in this type of society. Science illiteracy will likely exacerbate this difference.

    Mike Cappel


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