The process of science has led to discoveries that affect every aspect of our lives. It has allowed for advances in energy, materials, technology, agriculture, and human health (see the following website for more information: http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whathassciencedone_01 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). We can also use information gained from science to help us solve problems and make informed decisions.
While scientific progress is an essential part of modern society, the public view of science does not always match that of scientists themselves. The Pew Research Center recently conducted a poll and compared views on a range of specific topics between the American public and U.S. scientists. Results from this poll comparison are described in the National Geographic article at the link below. Please read this article and discuss the following questions based on the information contained in this article and from any other reputable source you find.
“Poll Reveals Rift Between Scientists, Regular Folks” (National Geographic): http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/150129-public-opinion-aaas-health-education-science/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
1. For which topics did the opinion of the public and scientists MOST differ? Why do you think there was such a large difference in opinion for these topics?
2. For which topics did the opinion of the public and scientists LEAST differ? Why do you think there was such a small difference in opinion for these topics?
3. Do you think that it is important for citizens to have a firm and accurate understanding of science? Explain why or why not.
4. What specifically do you think would need to happen in order to see greater alignment in opinion between the general public and scientists?
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