KNOW: THE CULTURE OF SCIENCE IN THE MUSLIM WORLD - GENERAL OVERVIEW
*This session is in English
Before addressing the main question, i.e. what is the state of the “culture of science” in the Muslim world today?, I will have to start by defining and distinguishing between “culture of science”, “scientific literacy”, “public understanding of science”, and “scientific performance”. I will present data on “scientific literacy” (the quantity and quality of the knowledge of science held by the average citizen) in the world and in our region (to the extent of the availability of such data). I will then focus on the “culture of science”, which may be defined as “the appreciation, adoption, and application of scientific principles at the individual and societal levels,” and review some recent studies that have been conducted, again both in the world and (to a limited extent) in our region.
I will discuss why both a “scientific literacy” and a “culture of science” are important in today’s world. I will decry the dearth of data and studies on both of these important issues in the Arab-Muslim world today. I will review the main factors and activities that influence these two issues, positively or negatively: economics, socio-political situation, education (quality and content), media, religion, etc. And I will conclude by presenting a few recommendations for the development and dissemination of the culture of science in the Arab-Muslim world.
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