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  • 1. Science Literacy for LibrariansSarah RosencransAugust 10, 2011
  • 2. Definition of Science Science is based on obtaining & accumulating knowledge based on principles of the scientific methods & other proven models (In Defense of Science, pg. 5) What do you think of when you think of science?
  • 3. Scientist by PJR (16), 2009 Scientist by TDR (13), 2009
  • 4. Definitions of science literacy “We may define science literacy as an acquaintance with science, technology, & medicine, popularized to various degrees, on the part of the general public & special sectors of the public through information in the mass media & education in & out of schools.” (Shen, 1975, pg. 45) Three types: Practical, Civic, Cultural
  • 5. Definitions of science literacy “Science literacy is much less a measure of technical knowledge than of science awareness.” Attributes of science literacy  Appreciation of the nature & aims of science & technology  Knowledge of how science is funded, its conventional practices, & application of discoveries  Basic understanding of interpreting numerical data  General grounding in selected areas of science  Appreciation of interrelationship between science, technology, & society  Ability to update & acquire new scientific information in the future. (Sapp, 1992, pg. 25&26)
  • 6. Mad Scientist and theGuinea Pigs by EMR(19), 2009
  • 7.  American students are falling behind in science & math  Science is increasingly importantWhy Science to every day lifeLiteracy?  Science encompasses some of the major issues of the day  Public health  Climate change  Alternative energy  Jobs
  • 8. Standards of science literacy Scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities. In the National Science Education Standards, the content standards define scientific literacy. Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. It means that a person has the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. Scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed. A literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it. Scientific literacy also implies the capacity to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and to apply conclusions from such arguments appropriately. National Science Education Standards. 1996, pg. 22
  • 9. ACRL Information Literacy Standards1. The information literate student determines the nature andextent of the information needed.2. The information literate student acquires needed informationeffectively and efficiently3. The information literate student critically evaluates theprocured information and its sources, and as a result, decideswhether or not to modify the initial query and/or seekadditional sources and whether to develop a new researchprocess.4. The information literate student understands the economic,ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding the use ofinformation and its technologies and either as an individual oras a member of a group, uses information effectively, ethically,and legally to accomplish a specific purpose.5. The information literate student understands that informationliteracy is an ongoing process and an important component oflifelong learning and recognizes the need to keep currentregarding new developments in his or her field.
  • 10. Science & Information Literacy1. The information literate student determines the nature andextent of the information needed. (ACRL) Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. …person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions… implies the capacity to pose[…]arguments based on evidence…
  • 11. Science & Information Literacy2. The information literate student acquires neededinformation effectively and efficiently Scientificliteracy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. It means that a person has the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena.
  • 12. Science & Information Literacy3. The information literate student critically evaluates theprocured information and its sources, and as a result, decideswhether or not to modify the initial query and/or seekadditional sources and whether to develop a new researchprocess. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press …. A literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it.
  • 13. Science & Information Literacy4. The information literate student understands the economic,ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding the use ofinformation and its technologies and either as an individual oras a member of a group, uses information effectively, ethically,and legally to accomplish a specific purpose. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. Scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed.
  • 14. Science & Information Literacy5. The information literate student understands thatinformation literacy is an ongoing process and animportant component of lifelong learning andrecognizes the need to keep current regarding newdevelopments in his or her field. Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. Importance of staying on top of current issues This could include preparation for a future career
  • 15. Ercegovac, Z. (2003) Bringing the library into the lab.School Library Journal, pg. 53
  • 16. Scientist by LHN, 2009
  • 17. Librarians & Science literacyScience literacy is a communication issue“scientific information must be accessible & comprehensible in order to be useful” (Sapp, 1992, pg. 26)
  • 18. Librarians & science literacy Evaluating information sources Popularization conundrum  Accessibility vs. accuracy? Literature  Think Frankenstein Movies TV  CSI & Discovery Channel Video Games Cartoons, Comics
  • 19. Detecting Scientific Fraud1. Discoverers use science by press conference to directly announce their discoveries rather than through fellow scientists2. Discoverers claim various people have tried to suppress the discovery3. Anecdotal evidence is used to back up the claim4. The discoverers work in isolation from the mainstream scientific community5. True believers cite ancient tradition in support of the new claim6. The claimed effect appears so week that observers can hardly distinguish it from noise. No amount of further work increases the signal7. The discovery requires a change in the understanding of the fundamental laws of nature(Park, 2000 qtd . in In Defense of Science, pg. 83)
  • 20. Librarians & Scientific Literacy Facilitating communication  Creating a better understanding of the information seeking behavior of science-literate individuals  Gauging characteristics of science literate individuals  Evaluate & apply the appropriate information resources  Evaluating popularizations of science for collection development & reference services  Science literacy needed to develop collections and services to serve public education & science
  • 21. Scientist by RDR, 2009
  • 22. Science Literacy for theInformation Age Science stereotypes and library stereotypes must be overcome to promote scientific literacy Libraries have the resources to bridge the communication gap Scientists must teach the principles & facts Information is easier to access than ever, no excuse for being ignorant
  • 23. Sources:ACRL:http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/infolitscitech.cfmErcegovac, Z. (2003) Bringing the library into the lab. School LibraryJournal, pg. 53National Science Education Standards (1996) Center for Science,Mathematics, & Engineering Education.http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=4962Sapp, Gregg. (1992) Science Literacy: A Discussion and an Information-based Definition. College & Research Libraries, January, pp.21-30Shen, Benjamin S.P. (1975) Science Literacy and the Public Understandingof Science. Communication of Scientific Information, pp. 44-52)Spellman, Frank R. & Price-Bayer, Joni. (2011) In Defense of Science: WhyScientific Literacy Matters. Government Institutes.