NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED568334
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 138
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 378
ISBN: 978-0-309-44756-0
Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences
Snow, Catherine E., Ed.; Dibner, Kenne A., Ed.
National Academies Press
Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to science--whether using knowledge or creating it--necessitates some level of familiarity with the enterprise and practice of science: we refer to this as science literacy. Science literacy is desirable not only for individuals, but also for the health and well-being of communities and society. More than just basic knowledge of science facts, contemporary definitions of science literacy have expanded to include understandings of scientific processes and practices, familiarity with how science and scientists work, a capacity to weigh and evaluate the products of science, and an ability to engage in civic decisions about the value of science. Although science literacy has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of individuals, individuals are nested within communities that are nested within societies--and, as a result, individual science literacy is limited or enhanced by the circumstances of that nesting. "Science Literacy" studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research. The following are appended: (1) Key Definitions and Statements About Literacy, Numeracy, Science Literacy, Health Literacy, and Health Numeracy; and (2) Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff. [This publication was also prepared by: the Committee on Science Literacy and Public Perception of Science; Board on Science Education; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.]
National Academies Press. 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 888-624-8373; Tel: 202-334-2000; Fax: 202-334-2793; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: National Academies, National Academy of Sciences; National Academies, National Academy of Engineering; National Academies, National Academy of Medicine
Grant or Contract Numbers: HHSN26300077