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Monday, June 07, 2010

What Is Scientific Literacy?

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains it as well as anyone could. Hint: it's not about knowing the names of the planets, the valence of oxygen, or the enzymes of glycolysis.

Chad Orzel is as excited about this video as I am—and for the same reason [Neil deGrasse Tyson Agrees With Me About The Innumeracy of Intellectuals]. It's bad enough that so many people are scientifically illiterate but even worse is the fact that many of our so-called "intellectuals" are actually proud of the fact that they are stupid about mathematics and science. Last year I went to a conference on The Two Cultures where many people were trying to convince me that the problem was solved. They were wrong and I'm glad to see that Tyson agrees.


  1. "Science literacy inoculates you against charlatanism."

    That's a keeper.

  2. That is a great video. I dig it right to China.

  3. I love listening to that guy. Tyson is the new Carl Sagan.

  4. So stealing this.

    (/In part because of the message re charlatanism. But also very fond of the 'yes, we do need to make real things at some point' bit, too. Sort of an axe I like to grind.)