Research Publication Title

The Ingredients of Scientific Illiteracy

Presenter Information

Marghuerite CrowellFollow

Major

Pre- Nursing

Faculty Mentor

Jaime Addy

Keywords

Scientific Illiteracy, climate change, evolution, vaccinations, education

Abstract

As technology and medicine flourish in 21st century America through science, so does fear and opposition. This fear and opposition stems from the lack of an individuals understanding or education in the scientific field; simply called “Scientific Illiteracy”. Pressing issues involved with scientific illiteracy include vaccination, climate change, and evolution. Through extensive research in reading scientific papers, political pieces, statistics, and referencing other’s expertise, the culprits of this phenomenon prove to surpass just a lack of scientific education. Scientific Illiteracy forms from people’s religion, politics, core beliefs, and emotions. “Anti-vaxxers” lack of education of the chemical makeup of vaccines, prompts an emotion (fear) stronger than their will to listen to medical professionals. Science behind climate change is ignored and debunked, often by those in positions of political power, thus trickling down to naive constituents. Evolution is scoffed at through the lens of religion, and the core beliefs may be shaken but not diminished enough to convince the non-believers that change in moderation is possible. The dangers of this mindset are extensive and the solutions are complicated. Scientific illiteracy threatens public health, our environment, and the progression of life changing medicines. Some of these solutions include awareness, better science education, and most importantly a willingness to learn.

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The Ingredients of Scientific Illiteracy

As technology and medicine flourish in 21st century America through science, so does fear and opposition. This fear and opposition stems from the lack of an individuals understanding or education in the scientific field; simply called “Scientific Illiteracy”. Pressing issues involved with scientific illiteracy include vaccination, climate change, and evolution. Through extensive research in reading scientific papers, political pieces, statistics, and referencing other’s expertise, the culprits of this phenomenon prove to surpass just a lack of scientific education. Scientific Illiteracy forms from people’s religion, politics, core beliefs, and emotions. “Anti-vaxxers” lack of education of the chemical makeup of vaccines, prompts an emotion (fear) stronger than their will to listen to medical professionals. Science behind climate change is ignored and debunked, often by those in positions of political power, thus trickling down to naive constituents. Evolution is scoffed at through the lens of religion, and the core beliefs may be shaken but not diminished enough to convince the non-believers that change in moderation is possible. The dangers of this mindset are extensive and the solutions are complicated. Scientific illiteracy threatens public health, our environment, and the progression of life changing medicines. Some of these solutions include awareness, better science education, and most importantly a willingness to learn.