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"Scientific literacy"

Hadiya Woodham, Gili Marbach-Ad, Gretchen Downey, Erika Tomei, Katerina Thompson
This paper describes the implementation of the Scientific Literacy in Cell Biology (SLCB) curriculum in an undergraduate biology laboratory course. The SLCB curriculum incorporated the reading and discussion of primary literature into hands-on and collaborative practical experiences. It was implemented in five stages over an 11-week period, during which students were also introduced to the theory and practice of common cell biology techniques. We report on the effectiveness of the course, as measured by pre- and post-course survey data probing students' content knowledge and their level of familiarity, confidence, and experience with different skills pertaining to analyzing (reading, interpreting, and discussing) primary literature...
December 2016: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Heather N Tinsley
Despite the importance of scientific literacy, many foundational science courses are plagued by low student engagement and performance. In an attempt to improve student outcomes, an introductory biology course for nonscience majors was redesigned to present the course content within the framework of current events and deliberative democratic exercises. During each instructional unit of the redesigned course, students were presented with a highly publicized policy question rooted in biological principles and currently facing lawmakers...
December 2016: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Aaron Drummond, Matthew A Palmer, James D Sauer
Pro-environment policies require public support and engagement, but in countries such as the USA, public support for pro-environment policies remains low. Increasing public scientific literacy is unlikely to solve this, because increased scientific literacy does not guarantee increased acceptance of critical environmental issues (e.g. that climate change is occurring). We distinguish between scientific literacy (basic scientific knowledge) and endorsement of scientific inquiry (perceiving science as a valuable way of accumulating knowledge), and examine the relationship between people's endorsement of scientific inquiry and their support for pro-environment policy...
September 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Ebru Öztürk-Akar
This study questions the presumed relation between formal schooling and scientific literacy about biotechnologies. Comparing science and nonscience majors' knowledge of and attitudes toward biotechnological applications, conclusions are drawn if their formal learnings improve pupils' understandings of and attitudes toward biotechnology applications. Sample of the study consists of 403 undergraduate and graduate students, 198 nonscience, and 205 science majors. The Biotechnology Knowledge Questionnaire and the Biotechnology Attitude Questionnaire were administered...
September 10, 2016: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Harriet A Washington
It is the researcher's responsibility to provide accurate, complete, and unbiased verbal and written information yet, as this essay discusses, challenges to meaningful research consent abound in the communication between researcher and subject. This discussion of these challenges is far from exhaustive, but it will flag some of the potholes that researchers must anticipate on the sometimes rocky road to eliciting meaningful consent. These include, but are not limited to, inadequate scientific literacy, poorly written consent forms, and even the deployment of scientific terms and seductive acronyms like CURE and MIRACL...
September 2016: Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: a Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Kristina Blennow, Johannes Persson, Erik Persson, Marc Hanewinkel
Do forest owners' levels of education or value profiles explain their responses to climate change? The cultural cognition thesis (CCT) has cast serious doubt on the familiar and often criticized "knowledge deficit" model, which says that laypeople are less concerned about climate change because they lack scientific knowledge. Advocates of CCT maintain that citizens with the highest degrees of scientific literacy and numeracy are not the most concerned about climate change. Rather, this is the group in which cultural polarization is greatest, and thus individuals with more limited scientific literacy and numeracy are more concerned about climate change under certain circumstances than those with higher scientific literacy and numeracy...
2016: PloS One
Stephanie B Stockwell
Scientific literacy, marked by the ability and willingness to engage with scientific information, is supported through a new genre of citizen science-course-based research in association with undergraduate laboratories. A three-phased progressive learning module was developed to enhance student engagement in such contexts while supporting three learning outcomes: I) present an argument based on evidence, II) analyze science and scientists within a social context, and III) experience, reflect upon, and communicate the nature of scientific discovery...
March 2016: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Kim Van Vliet, Claybourne Moore
The Internet and smart phone technologies have opened up new avenues for collaboration among scientists around the world. These technologies have also expanded citizen science opportunities and public participation in scientific research (PPSR). Here we discuss citizen science, what it is, who does it, and the variety of projects and methods used to increase scientific knowledge and scientific literacy. We describe a number of different types of citizen-science projects. These greatly increase the number of people involved, helping to speed the pace of data analysis and allowing science to advance more rapidly...
March 2016: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Insa Feinkohl, Danny Flemming, Ulrike Cress, Joachim Kimmerle
BACKGROUND: Laypeople frequently discuss medical research findings on Web-based platforms, but little is known about whether they grasp the tentativeness that is inherent in these findings. Potential influential factors involved in understanding medical tentativeness have hardly been assessed to date. OBJECTIVE: The research presented here aimed to examine the effects of personality factors and of other users' previous contributions in a Web-based forum on laypeople's understanding of the tentativeness of medical research findings, using the example of research on deep brain stimulation...
March 3, 2016: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Christina A Geithner, Alexandria N Pollastro
Doing peer review has been effectively implemented to help students develop critical reading and writing skills; however, its application in Human Physiology programs is limited. The purpose of the present study was to determine the impact of peer review on Human Physiology majors' perceptions of their scientific literacy and writing skills. Students enrolled in the Scientific Writing course completed multiple writing assignments, including three revisions after receiving peer and instructor feedback. Students self-assessed their knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to science and writing in pre- and postcourse surveys (n = 26 with complete data)...
March 2016: Advances in Physiology Education
Eulina Cavalcante de Almeida, Clara Guimarães, Graciela de Souza Oliver
The article offers an interview with journalist Eulina Cavalcante de Almeida, editor of the woman's section of the ABC Paulista newspaper News Seller in the 1960s. Almeida was responsible for introducing women's and scientific issues to the paper's female readers. Science formed one of the foundations of her writing as she offered her women readers scientific information, especially in the area of health. In the 1960s, the level of scientific literacy in Brazil rose and Almeida's work dovetailed with this trend...
December 2015: História, Ciências, Saúde—Manguinhos
Ali K Yetisen, Joe Davis, Ahmet F Coskun, George M Church, Seok Hyun Yun
Bioart is a creative practice that adapts scientific methods and draws inspiration from the philosophical, societal, and environmental implications of recombinant genetics, molecular biology, and biotechnology. Some bioartists foster inter- disciplinary relationships that blur distinctions between art and science. Others emphasize critical responses to emerging trends in the life sciences. Since bioart can be combined with realistic views of scientific developments, it may help inform the public about science...
December 2015: Trends in Biotechnology
Andrew Shtulman, Kelsey Harrington
The scientific knowledge needed to engage with policy issues like climate change, vaccination, and stem cell research often conflicts with our intuitive theories of the world. How resilient are our intuitive theories in the face of contradictory scientific knowledge? Here, we present evidence that intuitive theories in 10 domains of knowledge-astronomy, evolution, fractions, genetics, germs, matter, mechanics, physiology, thermodynamics, and waves-persist more than four decades beyond the acquisition of a mutually exclusive scientific theory...
January 2016: Topics in Cognitive Science
Cosima Rughiniș, Bogdana Humă
In this paper we argue that quantitative survey-based social research essentializes age, through specific rhetorical tools. We outline the device of 'socio-demographic variables' and we discuss its argumentative functions, looking at scientific survey-based analyses of adult scientific literacy, in the Public Understanding of Science research field. 'Socio-demographics' are virtually omnipresent in survey literature: they are, as a rule, used and discussed as bundles of independent variables, requiring little, if any, theoretical and measurement attention...
December 2015: Journal of Aging Studies
Shahla Wunderlich, Kelsey A Gatto
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been available for commercial purchase since the 1990s, allowing producers to increase crop yields through bioengineering that creates herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant varieties. However, consumer knowledge about GMOs has not increased at the same rate as the adoption of GMO crops. Consumers worldwide are displaying limited understanding, misconceptions, and even unfamiliarity with GMO food products. Many consumers report that they receive information about GMO food products from the media, Internet, and other news sources...
November 2015: Advances in Nutrition
David I Hanauer, Graham Hatfull
The aim of this paper is to propose, present, and validate a simple survey instrument to measure student conversational networking. The tool consists of five items that cover personal and professional social networks, and its basic principle is the self-reporting of degrees of conversation, with a range of specific discussion partners. The networking instrument was validated in three studies. The basic psychometric characteristics of the scales were established by conducting a factor analysis and evaluating internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha...
2015: CBE Life Sciences Education
Seth Himelhoch, Sarah Edwards, Mark Ehrenreich, M Philip Luber
BACKGROUND: There is rising concern that fundamental scientific principles critical to lifelong learning and scientific literacy are not sufficiently addressed during residency. OBJECTIVE: We describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of a systematic review and meta-analysis course designed to improve residents' research literacy. INTERVENTION: We developed and implemented a novel, interactive, web-enhanced course for third-year psychiatry residents to provide the theoretical and methodological tools for conducting and reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses...
September 2015: Journal of Graduate Medical Education
Elisabeth E Schussler, Quentin Read, Gili Marbach-Ad, Kristen Miller, Miriam Ferzli
The inconsistency of professional development (PD) in teaching for graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is a widespread problem in higher education. Although GTAs serve an important role in retention of undergraduate science majors and in promotion of scientific literacy in nonmajors, they often lack preparation and ongoing support for teaching. Given the recent national focus on instructional quality in introductory courses, our goal was to use an online survey to identify current practices of teaching PD for biology GTAs and compare these results with the last national survey on this topic...
2015: CBE Life Sciences Education
Matthew P Rowe, B Marcus Gillespie, Kevin R Harris, Steven D Koether, Li-Jen Y Shannon, Lori A Rose
Recent studies question the effectiveness of a traditional university curriculum in helping students improve their critical thinking and scientific literacy. We developed an introductory, general education (gen ed) science course to overcome both deficiencies. The course, titled Foundations of Science, differs from most gen ed science offerings in that it is interdisciplinary; emphasizes the nature of science along with, rather than primarily, the findings of science; incorporates case studies, such as the vaccine-autism controversy; teaches the basics of argumentation and logical fallacies; contrasts science with pseudoscience; and addresses psychological factors that might otherwise lead students to reject scientific ideas they find uncomfortable...
2015: CBE Life Sciences Education
Melanie E Peffer, Matthew L Beckler, Christian Schunn, Maggie Renken, Amanda Revak
Science education is progressively more focused on employing inquiry-based learning methods in the classroom and increasing scientific literacy among students. However, due to time and resource constraints, many classroom science activities and laboratory experiments focus on simple inquiry, with a step-by-step approach to reach predetermined outcomes. The science classroom inquiry (SCI) simulations were designed to give students real life, authentic science experiences within the confines of a typical classroom...
2015: PloS One
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