Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Science Literacy and Public Perception of Science
Project Scope

An ad hoc committee will consider existing data about scientific and health literacy, research on the association of scientific literacy with public support of science, health literacy, and behaviors related to health. The committee will prepare a final report that synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy and makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, as well as identifying gaps in our understanding of the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

The committee will address the following questions:
  • What is the consensus on metrics for scientific literacy in the United States?
  • What is the evidence on how those measures have changed over time?
  • How does this compare to other nations?
  • What is the evidence of enhanced scientific literacy on:
  • Support for, attitudes on, and perception of scientific research?
  • Use of scientific knowledge?
  • Perception of U.S. international standing in science?
  • Health literacy?
  • Behaviors related to health?
  • Is lack of scientific literacy associated with decreased support for science and/or research?

Sponsor:  National Institutes of Health


March 7, 2016 - Agenda 


Catherine Snow (Chair), Harvard Graduate School of Education
Nick Allum, University of Essex
John Besley, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University
Dominique Brossard, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Noah Feinstein, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
S. James Gates, Jr. (NAS), Department of Physics, University of Maryland
Louis Gomez, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California Los Angeles
Alexa McCray, (NAM), Harvard Medical School, and Department of Medicine,
    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Janet Ohene-Frempong, J.O. Frempong & Associates, Inc.
Jonathan Osborne, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University
Eugenie S. Scott, (NAS), National Center for Science Education
Earnestine Willis, Department of Pediatrics and Institute of Health and Society, Medical College of Wisconsin


Kenne Dibner, Study Director
Heidi Schweingruber, Director, Board on Science Education
Lyla Hernandez, Director, Roundtable on Health Literacy
Julie Schuck, Associate Program Officer
Emily Backes, Research Associate
Renee L. Wilson Gaines, Senior Program Assistant

BOSE Home About BOSE BOSE Mission BOSE Members BOSE Staff Our Sponsors Visiting our Buildings News and Events Upcoming Events Our Work Assessing the Science Activation Program Authentic STEM Learning for Computing/Technology Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education Districts Implementing NGSS English Learners in STEM Subjects Enhancing Science in Pre-K through Fifth Grade Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education Science and Engineering in Grades 6-12: Investigations and Design Teacher Workforce Dissemination Workshop on Increasing Student Success in Developmental Mathematics Past Projects Commissioned Papers Publications BOSE Reports Audio and Video Work With Us Our Study Process Study Process Brochure Getting to Know the Committee Process Overview for Sponsors Guide for Study Sponsors
left imagetext captioncenter image