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Bo takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining. You create the show by submitting your questions here. Bo has a PhD in social psychology, but covers a broad range of topics including: Science Education (scientific method, what is / is not science, etc.), Success, Entrepreneurship, Motivation, General Psychology, Social Psychology, Positive Psychology (well-being, flourishing, happiness, etc.), Cognitive Psychology (belief, cognitive biases, memory, our flawed brain, etc.), General Social Science, Critical Thinking, Logical Fallacies, Humanism / Secularism, and even some Philosophy. All (reasonable) questions will be answered here, and some will be the material for the Dr. Bo Show.

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Sava Sergiu

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Sava Sergiu


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Wed, Sep 16, 2015 - 12:33 PM

How important is scientific literacy and what are some good ways to promote it?



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Bo Bennett, PhD
Host, Doctor of Social Psychology

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Host, Doctor of Social Psychology

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About Bo Bennett, PhD

I am the host of this show :) For my complete bio, please see http://www.bobennett.com.
PrintWed, Sep 16, 2015 - 03:23 PM
Since you are asking me, a scientist, I can tell you that I believe science literacy is extremely important, but there are those who will disagree. The United States is indeed a meting pot, not just of cultures, but of ideas and values. Some people value belief and faith far more than reason and science, meaning that the subjective state of personal well-being is more important than accepting a scientific fact that risks decreasing that personal well-being. Of course, being scientifically illiterate can have a negative effect on one's well-being through making poor choices in life or being less in demand in the workforce. What people who hold that view don't consider is the big picture—how their beliefs (or lack of scientific literacy) affect their communities, society, and even humanity. For example, a lack of scientific literacy can result in preventable disease outbreaks in communities through not understanding vaccine safety. A lack of scientific literacy can result in a failure to embrace biotechnology that can keep local farmers in business. A lack of scientific literacy can result in listening to politicians who say that climate change is not a problem rather than listening to the scientists who actually study climate change, which the costs of such illiteracy can be catastrophic.

So what can we do about it?

I think there are perhaps hundreds of small ways that we can encourage scientific literacy such as making science more entertaining, making it a larger part of standard education, warning people of the dangers of scientific illiteracy, call out anti-intellectualism when we see it, and perhaps make Neil Degrasse Tyson President of the United States :) At an individual level, I think that everyone can do something that is unique to his or her talents to promote scientific literacy. For me, it is this show, my online courses, my work as a professor at a local college, the books I write, and the podcasts I host. So I like to change that last question up a bit and turn it around on you... what can you do about it? :)
Bo Bennett, PhD
My Latest Book: https://www.uncomfortable-ideas.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedrboshow/
About Me: http://www.bobennett.com

Podcast Episode: How Important Is Scientific Literacy?

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