Date of Award

1994

Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs

Abstract

The focus of this paper is to analyze contemporary literature dealing with public understanding of science, the role of the public in formulation of public policy related to science and technology issues, and the role of science education in combating scientific illiteracy. An attempt is made to synthesize information about the state of scientific literacy (sometimes called technological, ecological, or environmental literacy) and to assess the implications of an increase in the public's knowledge of science and technology in their becoming more involved in the public policy arena. Further, this paper addresses the increasingly important role of formal and non-formal education in enhancing and reinforcing the public's basic knowledge of science and technology and related issues that affect their everyday lives and well-being. The specific responsibilities of the media, professional educators, scientists, and universities in combating scientific illiteracy through education and communication are also discussed.