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Scientific Literacy: Lives could depend on it!

The Science Teacher—Fall 2023 (Volume 90, Issue 7)

By Charlotte Moser

Scientific Literacy: Lives could depend on it!

Carl Sagan famously said “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology” (Sagan, 1990, p. 264). As demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, all adults need to make decisions that require scientific knowledge and understanding. In some cases, lives will hang in the balance. High school science classes offer one of the last formal opportunities for students to become scientifically literate. However, knowing how science is done isn’t sufficient. Students must also develop the skills to apply that understanding in their adult lives. For this reason, educators can benefit from consideration of how adults learn and make decisions.
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