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  1. June 13, 2012 4:47 AM

    Awesome post! Donna Haraway talks about scientific literacy in her book _Modest Witness_. She too calls for a form of scientific literacy that takes into account social and political institutions, but broadens what she means by “social and political” beyond corporate and government institutions, and into the realm of representation and discourse. So, interestingly, her conceptualization of scientific literacy involves learning “how not to be literal minded” when thinking about scientific knowledge, “while engaging promiscuously in certain moral and political inquiry about feminism, antiracism, democracy, knowledge, and justice in certain important domains of contemporary science and technology” (15). The popularity of Rebecca Skloot’s _The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks_ makes me think that this type of scientific literacy may be growing, but I doubt it’s the type of literacy promoted in public education, and therefore may not exactly constitute a shared knowledge amongst any populationg group.

    Do you attempt to speak to or teach social/political-scientific literacy in your classes? Do you find this form of literacy promoted or gestured to in post-secondary science textbooks or curricula?

  2. October 12, 2012 6:36 AM

    Just came across something that may (or may not) be of interest to you on this subject via “On the Quiet Shore” (http://onaquietshore.wordpress.com), a blog written by a history instructor about the challenges faced by contingent faculty. She references a book review of “Half-Life Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date” (you can find the review at: http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/02/half-of-the-facts-you-know-are-probably). Maybe a little pop-science-y, but the current concern with information overload, and with the value of information in our information age vs. knowledge, seems an important one in regards to your concern with scientific literacy.

  3. October 12, 2012 6:48 AM

    Just came across something that may (or may not) be of interest to you on this subject via “On the Quiet Shore” (http://onaquietshore.wordpress.com), a blog written by a history instructor about the challenges faced by contingent faculty. She references a book review of “Half-Life Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date” (you can find the review at: http://reason.com/archives/2012/10/02/half-of-the-facts-you-know-are-probably). Maybe a little pop-science-y, but the current concern with information overload, and with the value of information in our information age vs. knowledge, seems an important one in regards to your concern with scientific literacy. Ack. Are these sentences even readable?! It’s friday: my own literacy seems to have reached its half-life; let’s just call it dead.

  4. October 12, 2012 7:50 AM

    Thanks. Interesting article. I like the idea of “hidden public knowledge.” If that’s science that’s been done and nobody knows about it, then “undone science” is science that hasn’t even been done: http://scienceblogs.com/worldsfair/2007/08/14/what-is-undone-science-alterna

  5. March 13, 2013 8:47 AM

    I personally wonder why you called this article, “Rethinking science literacy”. In any event, I really loved the post! Thanks for your effort, Tommy

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