Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 18 | Jun. 24, 2002

Film Fest Fetes Science

At Issue: How do you communicate science without dumbing it down? | By Barry A. Palevitz

Image: Erica P. Johnson

It's getting to be an old story: the National Science Board recently concluded, "Science literacy in the U.S. is fairly low." Moreover, said the board, "most Americans are unfamiliar with the scientific process."1

Since people form opinions based on what they read in newspapers and see on the silver screen, the media may be part of the problem. "The charming and charismatic scientist is not an image that populates popular culture," the science board report states. "The entertainment industry often portrays certain professions such as medicine, law and journalism as exciting and glamorous, whereas scientists and engineers are almost always portrayed as unattractive, reclusive, socially inept white men or foreigners working...

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