New Report on Science Literacy from the National Academies

August 17th, 2016

A new report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine entitled “Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences” provides new insight into science literacy on a community level.

“Historically, assessments of science literacy have focused on individuals, but we see now that communities can engage in science and produce scientific knowledge in a way that transcends any individual’s ability,” said committee chair Catherine Snow, Patricia Albjerg Graham Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  â€śFurthermore, the structural features of a society can impede or enhance individuals’ or communities’ development of science literacy.”

The report presents a research agenda with questions about creating new measures of science literacy and expanding the information available to clarify: 1) the relationship between science knowledge and attitudes toward science; 2) how science literacy is used and measured in different contexts; 3) the relationship of science literacy to other literacy skills; and 4) the role of science literacy for citizens as decision-makers.