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ERIC Number: EJ1020507
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
Presenting Global Warming and Evolution as Public Health Issues to Encourage Acceptance of Scientific Evidence
Stover, Shawn K.; McArthur, Laurence B.; Mabry, Michelle L.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v39 n2 p3-10 Dec 2013
Although evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming and evolution by natural selection is considerable, the public does not embrace these concepts. The current study explores the hypothesis that individuals will become more receptive to scientific viewpoints if evidence for evolution and implications of global warming are presented as issues of public health. Non-science majors, nursing students, and freshman biology majors from two similar institutions answered pre-and post-test survey questions addressing the autism-vaccine connection, public health issues related to global warming, and public health issues associated with evolution by natural selection. Pretest questions elicited simple yes/no responses, whereas post-test questions were presented with relevant public health-related information and required students to articulate specific rationales. Student responses were categorized as either "evidence-based" or "non-evidence-based." Only the natural selection question produced post-test responses that were significantly different from pretest responses. There were significantly more post-test "evidence-based" responses to the natural selection question in all three student groups. Results indicate that the presentation of controversial topics, particularly evolution, in the context of public health could be used to encourage public acceptance of scientific viewpoints.
Descriptors: Climate, Evolution, Public Health, Evidence, Autism, Immunization Programs, Nonmajors, Nursing Students, Majors (Students), Biology, Pretests Posttests, Student Surveys, College Students, Student Attitudes
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site: http://acube.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A