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ERIC Number: EJ994661
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
What Colleges and Universities Need to Do to Advance Civic Scientific Literacy and Preserve American Democracy
Miller, Jon D.
Liberal Education, v98 n4 p28-33 Fall 2012
There are several fundamental requirements for democratic government. First, there must be free and fair elections to elect leaders. Second, there must be freedom to express a wide range of views and positions, including criticisms of incumbent leaders. And third, the public discourse about elections and public policy issues must be conducted in a language that is accessible to all the citizens in any democratic system. During the first two centuries of its history, the United States met all three of these requirements and has been exemplary in many of its democratic practices. But America is entering a period in which the third of these requirements is increasingly problematic. A growing number of public policy and campaign issues are now presented and argued in the language of science at a level that is incomprehensible to most American citizens. In this article, the author talks about what colleges and universities need to do to advance civic scientific literacy and preserve American democracy. He suggests that educators, who are committed to liberal education, need to recognize that the advancement of civic scientific literacy is not icing on the cake; it is a basic insurance policy for the preservation of American democracy in the twenty-first century. (Contains 2 figures.)
Association of American Colleges and Universities. 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: 800-297-3775; Tel: 202-387-3760; Fax: 202-265-9532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States