Dumbing it down : mass media and science literacy in the USA
Kanode, Casey Forest.
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Science literacy is important to individuals and the societies in which they live because it enhances our health, well being, and ability to progress into the future. A society whose citizens do not have or appreciate the benefits of scientific literacy are at risk of falling behind economically, have a greater chance of health crises, and may find themselves ill-equipped to navigate the dangers of a modern, technological world. Science literacy in America, while not extremely low, is being negatively impacted by elements within popular media including, but not limited to, the politicization of scientific issues by news media outlets, the rise in fake or pseudo-scientific television programming, and misinformation through social media channels. These factors, when viewed collectively, have created a social environment wherein scientific curiosity and intellect are at risk of stagnating. There are multiple risks to this outcome and must be confronted in order for our society to continue to progress scientifically and culturally.