Download e-book Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy

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Biology deals with even larger systems, and depends both on chemistry and physics. And so on.

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Mathematics is at the heart of the sciences. All of them require mathematical formulas to express their various truths. As the saying goes, the physicists defer only to the mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God. Though one would be hard-pressed to find a mathematician that modest.

The authors' so-called great ideas approach, however, seems more influenced by current newspaper headlines than by logic. For example, such eternal stuff as "the clockwork universe," "the electromagnetic spectrum" and "the nature of light" are rightfully all given their own headings. But then so are such ephemeral phenomena as "ozone depletion," "acid rain" and, yes, "disposable diapers.

Trefil, one of the authors of "The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy," are respected and able writers. But despite that, "Science Matters" has little to do with science literacy.

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Trying to learn science from this book is like trying to learn French by memorizing the definitions of the most-used nouns in the headlines of Le Figaro, with nary a care for grammar or syntax. And, frankly, the facts the authors serve up are difficult to remember in this little-bit-of-everything format. A few days after reading "Science Matters," I couldn't recall very much of it. Like reading the Cliffs Notes on "Madame Bovary," the details stay with you only through the mid-term. Well, Mr.

Trefil are right. Science education is a mess. Perhaps, though, the problem is poor teaching, or no teaching at all, rather than the one-science-at-a-time method the authors detest. The sciences all rely on the scientific method -- theory, experimentation, replication of experiment. So, a well-taught course -- whether in geology, biology or physics -- can train a mind to think in a rigorous, scientific manner.

Doing science, with all the lab work and calculations, molds a mind more permanently than any crash memorization course.

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Scientific literacy is necessary - Andrew Zwicker - TEDxCarnegieLake

Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy! Ships from NV. About the Book Find at your local library Description In this thoroughly revised and updated new edition of their classic bestselling guide to basic principles of science, Hazen and Trefil take into account the most recent developments, from particle physics to biotechnology.

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Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy

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