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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why America may Fail in the Future, October 3, 2009
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This review is from: Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future (Hardcover)
I've taught undergraduates and graduate students science at a major private university for almost 30 years. During this time, I've seen an increasingly profound inability of my students (about 10,000 so far) to even process the most simple scientific facts beyond memorizing them.

American citizens, if their kids are any indication, view knowledge in the context of "Who Wants to be A Millionaire", a stream of factoids, unrelated, much like a list of names in a telephone book.

"Unscientific America" tell the reader why this sorry state of affairs has occurred. I suspect, the same or worse applies for the average American citizen knowing about our Nation's history, basic elements of world culture, or the arts. My foreign students look at Americans with bewilderment and wonder on how they could be so ignorant living in such privilege and plenty.

And then, they happily out-compete them.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 10, 2011 8:36:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 10, 2011 8:39:29 PM PST
Texan Cowboy says:
I think I know what is part of the problem at least where I live which is in San Antonio, TX. Do you know how many educational stores there are for our kids and students here in such a big city? There is only one store that I am aware of. And even then the educational store has only basic, grade level stuff. We used to have the discovery channel store here in our city but that is even gone.
I have spent HOURS looking for GOOD QUALITY books for my grade level child, middle school, high school and college level child and I had a hell of a time finding good quality books that make sense to a person without a pHD. I'm just a mom that wants my kids to succeed and I'm very inquisitive about many things.
But finding good quality science tools to help me and my kids understand has proven to be a challenge. Can you imagine, I'm going out of my way to do this. I know many of my friends and relatives would buy or get the science education tools if it was in front of them, but they sure hell are not going to spend the hours looking for these science tools. How can in the land of plentiful, have missing those educational opportunities? Maybe it's the town I live in?

Posted on Feb 26, 2011 2:53:52 PM PST
Jennifer says:
This review reveals very little about this book -, its content, quality, etc.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 3:40:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2014 3:43:21 AM PDT
A very cogent set of observations about the knowledgeability of Americans. But the remarks on competitiveness are not up to date. The U.S. is now around 8th in nominal GDP per capita, and has been overtaken in most competitiveness indices by other nations. Don't be fooled by the constant downputting of Europe in our media. They seem to take the most problematic nations or developments and call it "Europe". Nobody seems to be interested in nations ranked near the top in Environmental Performance (EPI Index: Yale-Columbia international rankings) yet have robust industrial productivity and export/import surpluses, like the Scandinavian nations, Switzerland, etc. Of course, we still have peaks of undisputed excellence in IT, Google, Amazon, a huge military establishment etc. but the valleys are increasingly dominant from the perspective of ordinary citizens.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2014 11:20:09 AM PDT
I agree
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