Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Science and Society

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Science and Society

Article excerpt

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster."--Carl Sagan, 1989

Students have many compelling reasons to learn science. The most compelling may be that learning science has important implications for human society and the future of our nation and planet.


Social concerns play a central role in The Next Generation Science Standards:

The NGSS are designed to prepare students for college, career, and citizenship. There is no doubt that science and science education are central to the lives of all Americans. Never before has our world been so complex and science knowledge so critical to making sense of it all. When comprehending current events, choosing and using technology, or making informed decisions about one's healthcare, understanding science is key. Science is also at the heart of the United States' ability to continue to innovate, lead, and create the jobs of the future. All students, no matter what their future education and career path, must have a solid K-12 science education in order to be prepared for college, careers, and citizenship.--NGSS Appendix A (NGSS Lead States 2013, Volume 2, p. 3.)

Given the rapid pace of scientific discovery, particularly in the biological sciences, all students will need to make ethical decisions about complex socio-scientific issues that arise as a consequence of new science and technology. And so, this issue of The Science Teacher focuses on bioethical issues such as genetic engineering (Cook, pp. …

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