Neil deGrasse Tyson: How science literacy can save us from the internet

If you understand when and how to ask questions, you possess an effective inoculation against charlatans.

  • The internet has become a tool to tribalize us, a place where opinions become identities in a fight to the death of who's right and who's wrong.
  • As information continues to flow in, many of us lack the training to effectively sort opinion from fact. This leads to widespread disinformation.
  • We need science literacy. With an understanding of how things work, or how to question how things work, we empower ourselves to discover the truth.
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The more we see fake news, the more likely we are to share it

Research has found that previously encountered information feels more "fluent."

Luis Davilla/Cover/Getty Images

Over the last few years, so-called "fake news" — purposefully untrue misinformation spread online — has become more and more of a concern.

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Trump's been impeached — here's what Harvard scholars believe will happen next

For the third time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives voted to impeach a sitting U.S. president.

The Washington Post
  • The House vote means the Senate will hold a trial to determine whether President Donald Trump is guilty of either or both of the two articles of impeachment.
  • One article of impeachment alleges the president abused his power for personal political gain, the other alleges he obstructed Congress.
  • The Senate is widely expected to acquit the president.
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86% of American 15-year-olds can’t distinguish fact from opinion. Can you?

The statistics for American adults aren't that much better.

  • The results of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment show that just 13.5 percent of American 15-year-olds could reliably distinguish fact from fiction in reading tasks.
  • A 2018 Pew Research Center study showed that more than half of U.S. adults had trouble identifying fact from fiction after reading a list of 10 statements.
  • Respondents who were least able to correctly flag opinions were likely to be digitally unsophisticated, relatively politically unaware and generally mistrustful of the media.
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Russia to replace Wikipedia with the 'Great Russian Encyclopaedia'

The encyclopedia offers more "reliable" information than Wikipedia, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Mikhail Svetlov
/ Contributor
  • A government resolution said the measure will ensure that "reliable information that is constantly updated on the basis of scientifically verified sources of knowledge."
  • The move is likely part of Russia's effort to crack down on citizens' internet access.
  • Russia has centuries-old history of censorship, and state officials have even been observed to edit Wikipedia articles to serve Russian interests.
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