Science Illiteracy

I am dismayed by the article on science illiteracy by Key Dismukes and John Jonides (“Project 2061: A Place To Start Educating The Public,” The Scientist, Aug. 7, 1989, page 11). Their argument is remarkably similar to that set forth by their social science counterparts in thelate 1960s. We still recall the onslaught of psychologists, sociologists, and educationists who clucked interminably over the problems in mass science education, and then, with straight faces, solemnly arrived a

Abraham Liboff
Nov 12, 1989

I am dismayed by the article on science illiteracy by Key Dismukes and John Jonides (“Project 2061: A Place To Start Educating The Public,” The Scientist, Aug. 7, 1989, page 11). Their argument is remarkably similar to that set forth by their social science counterparts in thelate 1960s. We still recall the onslaught of psychologists, sociologists, and educationists who clucked interminably over the problems in mass science education, and then, with straight faces, solemnly arrived at the same conclusion voiced by Dismukes and Jonides: “... Our approach fails not because we teach too little science, but because we so often teachit badly.” Once again, our social science colleagues are johnnies-on-the-spot, ready to help the disadvantaged in science with “concepts.., relevance.., thinking skills.” And, once again, I am asked to believe that my physics teaching does not stress “concepts relevance thinking skills.” Once again, I get the message that we...

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