The everyday importance STEM: How learning about science and technology can promote success in all aspects of our lives

Sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education.

An understanding of science and technology is increasingly important for today's citizens to successfully negotiate not just their careers – technical or otherwise – but also their everyday lives: from issues around healthcare and the moral debates arising from scientific innovation, to developing improved methods of making logical and informed decisions in all areas.

Librarians and faculty play a pivotal role in helping to foster that success through their choice of offerings, explains John Rennie, editorial director of McGraw-Hill Education's AccessScience, past editor-in-chief of Scientific American, and Carl Sagan Award winner for Public Understanding of Science – who has spent three decades communicating science to the public in print, online, and on television.

The first key lies in knowing what will best hook the interests of the diverse audiences that educators and librarians reach: are younger and non-specialist audiences more responsive to inspirational “cabinet of wonders” approaches, appeals to relevance, or simply to crisp narrative? Accuracy, clarity, and authority are musts, but does a source also anticipate a user’s questions and inspire the correct serious study habits – such as consultation of the professional science literature? Drawing on his years of experience – and looking at examples such as the new Cosmos TV series – Rennie will explore what kinds of science resources can help enhance career success, as well as building the critical thinking skills and working habits that will serve people for a lifetime.

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