Literacy Quotes (7 quotes)
I've been very involved in science literacy because it's critically important in our world today. As a public, we're asked to vote on issues, were asked to accept explanations, we're asked to figure out what to do with our own health care, and you can't do that unless you have some level of science literacy. Science literacy isnt about figuring out how to solve equations like E=MC². Rather, it's about being able to read an article in the newspaper about the environment, about health care and figuring out how to vote on it. It's about being able to prepare nutritious meals. It's about being able to think your way through the day.
Increasingly, our leaders must deal with dangers that threaten the entire world, where an understanding of those dangers and the possible solutions depends on a good grasp of science. The ozone layer, the greenhouse effect, acid rain, questions of diet and heredity. All require scientific literacy. Can Americans choose the proper leaders and support the proper programs if they themselves are scientifically illiterate? The whole premise of democracy is that it is safe to leave important questions to the court of public opinionbut is it safe to leave them to the court of public ignorance?
It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and literacy, of superstition and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people. ... The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science.
No other part of science has contributed as much to the liberation of the human spirit as the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Yet, at the same time, few other parts of science are held to be so recondite. Mention of the Second Law raises visions of lumbering steam engines, intricate mathematics, and infinitely incomprehensible entropy. Not many would pass C.P. Snows test of general literacy, in which not knowing the Second Law is equivalent to not having read a work of Shakespeare.
True literacy is becoming an arcane art and the nation [United States] is steadily dumbing down.
We need science education to produce scientists, but we need it equally to create literacy in the public. Man has a fundamental urge to comprehend the world about him, and science gives today the only world picture which we can consider as valid. It gives an understanding of the inside of the atom and of the whole universe, or the peculiar properties of the chemical substances and of the manner in which genes duplicate in biology. An educated layman can, of course, not contribute to science, but can enjoy and participate in many scientific discoveries which as constantly made. Such participation was quite common in the 19th century, but has unhappily declined. Literacy in science will enrich a persons life.
Without writing, the literate mind would not and could not think as it does, not only when engaged in writing but normally even when it is composing its thoughts in oral form. More than any other single invention writing has transformed human consciousness.