Science for all

August 31, 2017

We live in a bewildering, interconnected world of technology and massive datasets underpinned by major advances that science is delivering at an apparently accelerating pace. However, it seems that the population is increasingly isolated from any understanding of the science and technologies that seem to rule our lives.

How do we gain access to what is really happening in a world where pseudoscience is digested by the masses, while real science influences nearly everything and provides those who can use and manipulate it with great power?

How can we ensure that people are better able to assess information in a way that leads to better choices for society and the planet? For me, the answer is education, including robust science education, at every level of society.

It is the responsibility of universities to attempt to offer every student insights into the scientific method. A grasp of how science works will result in an improved capacity to reflect, question and critique any information that flows to them, from whatever source.

The world appears at a crossroads, facing great challenges, such as our growing global population. Having a scientifically literate population is key, with science education informing choices, improving understanding of complex issues and helping us address our challenges.

Quentin Parker
Associate dean (global)
Faculty of Science
University of Hong Kong

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