The Myth of Scientific Literacy by Morris Shamos

By Morris Shamos

Arguing that common clinical literacy is a futile aim, a physicist advocates a realistic technology schooling curriculum emphasizing appreciation of technology as an on-going cultural company; wisdom of technology's effect on health and wellbeing, safeguard, and surroundings; and good use of specialists. UP.

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Of course. thereby attracting more of the best students into the field. D. scientists and engineers might feel more comfortable about tak� ing risks in their choice of research problems. Not all scientists and engineers would agree with Stephan's con� elusions. but there is enough substance in her study to warrant serious thought. For one thing. S. and free world industrialization. For another. equating Stephan's measure of productivity (number of publications per young science doctorate) to scientific quality is questionable.

When corporate America is unable to find enough skilled work­ ers locally. it finds them elsewhere. 14 If need be. industry could extend this practice to fill most shortages that might develop in its sci­ ence and engineering work force. as it already does to some extent­ probably at lower cost than underwriting the science and technology education of native Americans as a recruitment tool. Reich adds that the highly publicized corporate support of education goes mostly for "in-house" training of selected employees.

Thereby testing the reliability of the induction itself. Aristotle was famil­ iar with the inductive method; in fact. he was the first to outline its principles. Perhaps he distrusted it as a means of gaining knowledge. or perhaps he simply failed to recognize its place in scientific reasoning. At any rate. he did not make use of this highly significant form of argu­ ment. Instead. the generalizations that were to form the initial premises in his deductive arguments were arrived at either by pure intuition or by appealing to the ends or purposes they served (generally human).

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