Back to Blog

Science literacy: the science of citizenship

An excellent article by Belle Boggs called “The Science of Literacy” can be found in the November/December 2013 issue of Orion Magazine. In it, Boggs writes about “why skimping on science is bad for an engaged and informed citizenship.” Boggs uses Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks , her own experience as a Brooklyn classroom teacher, as well as more recent teaching experience working with dedicated science teachers in North Carolina, to document her article. She writes about the re-emergence of the debate about teaching creation and evolution in public education that has made the science classroom a political topic. 
She writes: 
The “average fifth-grade student will not become professional scientists or engineers. Every one of them, however, will need to understand skills and ideas connected to the principles of science—what a plant needs to grow, how to read nutrition and medication labels, what it means when their state considers hydraulic fracturing or offshore drilling. Their understanding of these principles will determine how long they live, and how well.” You can read this article online at

Have you ever been pressed to add “creation science” books to your library? The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents, and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education. “Equal Time” In School Libraries?,” an article on their website discusses collection development that “avoids censorship without sacrificing quality, and common-sense application of the criteria suggested here helps assure that your school’s students will have access to the best science books available.” You can read this article online at