What is the standard for scientific literacy?

Question: What is the standard for scientific literacy

Vest: I think that all young people graduating from, say, high school certainly need to understand the basic elements of mathematics certainly through algebra; hopefully a bit beyond that understand to some extent how it can be used to model the real world. They need to understand – and this is a critical issue today – they need to understand what science is; that it is a way of drawing on hundreds of years of human intelligence being applied to measuring things; to understanding what objective data are; and to take facts and put them together and build them into theories; into understanding how things work; and then how that can be taken through the field of engineering to designing and building things that extend our capabilities and enable us to do our jobs. So they need to be able to quantitatively reason. They need to understand what science is and what the scientific method is. They need to understand that without . . . without that scientific and mathematical underpinning you cannot build big structures. You cannot run industries. You cannot have your health improve. It’s really those basics that I think our young people need to know, because believe me if you go to China, and Singapore, and parts of India and so forth, you’ll find a lot of kids going very quickly; fire in the belly in these fields, and ultimately wanting to eat our lunch. We can’t let them do that. We have to both compete and cooperate. But our young people need to have the opportunities that the new age is going to provide them. Recorded on: 12/5/07

High school graduates need to understand how the building blocks of science work.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.