What is scientific literacy, and why are youngsters in the United States lacking in it? What constitutes an adequate science education? Why have we so few inspiring science educators?
These are just a few of the questions raised in the following two essays, one written by a science student, the other by a pair of physics professors.
For different reasons, all three authors come to the same conclusion: Scientist must look within their own community and at themselves as individuals for answers to these questions, as well as solutions to the many grave problems facing science education in the U.S. today.
In the first essay, Arielle Emmett recounts the personal experiences--as a science student at a northern New Jersey college and during a brief and unsurprising stint as an assistant in a New York oncogene laboratory--on which she bases her recommendations for scientists' self-examination.
In the second essay, adapted from...