Science literacy informs the democratic process


Recent research from the California Science Teachers Association states that science literacy has everything to do with civic engagement.

According to the publication linked above, science education fits easily with service learning projects. Issues such as poverty and littering can spark innovative ideas in students that use the scientific method while fixing social issues.

And understanding science is not exclusive to students who want to go into science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) professions. Anyone can be a scientist, and anyone can use science in their lives.

"The goal here is not to make everyone a scientist," said Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and science educator. "What a boring world that would be. You want artists, you want musicians, you want novelists, poets... What matters is whether they're scientifically literate and maintain that literacy and that curiosity throughout their lives—no matter what becomes their profession."

Tyson goes on to explain how science can affect your life even if students are not planning on studying science. What matters are the core tenets of science and how they can be applied to real life.

"It influences your health, your safety, how you're going to have to vote, what issues are before you politically," Tyson said. "If you aren't scientifically literate, in a way, you are disenfranchising yourself from the democratic process, and you don't even know it."