CEBU

Fetalvero: Scientific literacy

Two Empty bottles

WITH the global devastation brought about by Covid-19, we find ourselves in dire need of a new breed of scientists, specifically in the medical field.

My friend, Shirley, informed me that she is in some sort of a dilemma. Her daughter, who has been studying as a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Argao, Cebu, may end up quitting school this school year. Like any public school located in mountain barangays, getting internet is a challenge—a situation worth looking into by our government.

Aside from the connectivity problem, the threat posed by the pandemic has prompted parents to be worried vis-a-vis the students’ living quarters. I was told there are about 600 enrolees last year accommodated in the dormitories.

Unlike the DOST in Iligan, students have already enrolled for this coming school year and have already been informed of the mechanics of electronic education. DOST has open slots for 2021 undergraduate scholarship. DOST calls on the youth to join the science community by pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña announced that scholars enjoy a monthly stipend of P7,000, an annual book allowance of P10,000, one-time uniform allowance of P1,000, one-time graduation allowance of P1,000; and one economy class round trip fare per year, for those studying outside their home provinces.

How important then is a scientific mind? Michael Ranney, a Berkeley professor of cognitive psychology at the Graduate School of Education, explained: “It is important for the public to understand and trust science so that they can progressively know what is correct and ‘forget’ what is incorrect, such as hoaxes or unfounded conspiracy theories.”

Ranney’s research suggests that improved scientific literacy can affect how people view politicized science topics such as global warming and evolution.

The Berkeley Scientific Review revealed that some educators argue that citizens who are scientifically literate will be better prepared to assess important issues such as global warming, genetically modified food, alternative medicine and tracking, both at the ballot box and during their daily lives.

In the 1970s, the National Science Teachers Association identified a scientifically literate person as someone who “uses scientific concepts, processes, skills and values in making everyday decisions.”


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