The Concept of Scientific Literacy

Topics: Science, Scientific method, Theory Pages: 5 (1676 words) Published: November 30, 2013
Scientific literacy
Introduction and audience
When talk about science, perhaps majority of us think it is less relative with real life. However, as society developed, science encompassed us everywhere. This situation forces everyone to acquire the ability to learn and understand science. Some may think that, scientific literacy is what a scientist should have and nothing about normal people, however it is just too narrow. Look around the surroundings of us, everything is conned with science. Also, we encounter science in our normal life as well. Therefore, the ability to acquire and understand science is necessary and important, which is called scientific literacy. Scientific literacy is the foundation of science and technology development, without which it is hard to promote innovation of society. In my paper, I would like to talk about why scientific literacy is important for us to survive in contemporary society and in making decision in real work. Therefore, I think everyone within present era should have the ability to understand and acquire science knowledge. Also, when solving problems, we should think in scientific way and then solve the problem. As a result, the audience of my paper is all people, since I think scientific literacy should be equipped with everyone.

What is scientific literacy?
When talk about literacy, K and Y quoted what James Paul Gee said , “If language is what makes us human, literacy, it seems, is what makes us civilized.”(K&Y, 338) Also, they discussed, “literacy as a kind of psychological precondition for intellectual “progress,” especially the development of higher-order reasoning skills.”(340-341) When we say higher-order reasoning skills, think it as analytic skills, ability to master the core of a problem and then making the correct decision. Therefore, to acquire these abilities, we should be literate, which is to be equipped with the ability of thinking and creating critically. The process of thinking and inquiring is the learning process and that’s what made us civilized. Of course, it is not an inherent power; instead it is trained through reading, writing and social experience. Scientific literacy somewhat resembled literacy. Scientific literacy is the ability to understand and inquire science-oriented process and knowledge, read science reading, and then distinguishes the true and the false and makes correct decisions with using scientific methods. As Jane stated in the article, “scientific literacy, which emphasizes scientific ways of knowing and the process of thinking critically and creatively about the natural world.” Of course, one who doesn’t have these abilities is called scientific illiteracy. Based on the definition, scientific literacy includes three criterions. First, one should require science knowledge and science attitude. Second, one should form the habit of using scientific way to think, and finally the ability to use scientific knowledge and methods to solve problems in real life. One example of scientific way of thinking to solve problem is about how people treated deceptive advertising. One deceptive advertise Reported by, “According to the FTC, companies selling TrimSpa made claims for "painless" weight loss unsupported by scientific evidence, such as that one ingredient, Hoodia gordonii, enabled consumers to lose weight by suppressing appetite. Ads for TrimSpa's "Completely Ephedra-Free Formula X32" contains testimonials, such as celebrity endorser Anna Nicole Smith, who claimed to have lost 69 pounds in eight months from using TrimSpa.” Before it was exposed, some people may believe this deceptive advertisement, and they would be so exited that they could lose weight without pain and doing nothing. However, if we acquire scientific literacy, what will we response to this ad. First of all, science told us the energy equivalence law, weight could be regarded as energy somewhat (science knowledge). Hence, why would we loss weight since...

Cited: Young, Morris, and Connie Kendall. “The Consequences of Rhetoric and Literacy: Power, Persuasion, and Pedagogical Implications.” Page(335-348). Print.
Maienschein Jane et al. (1998). Scientific literacy. Science 281, 917–917.
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