Reality is often profoundly altered by scientific and technical innovation. These changes occur unexpectedly and swiftly. Yet many people in our society know nothing about science. They have no sense of the vast scientific world of people and ideas and knowledge. Although their own daily lives depend on scientific knowledge and its technical fruits, they are untroubled by their ignorance. Indeed, in spite of this ignorance they may still consider themselves, and be considered by others, to be well educated, intelligent, even intellectual. Unfortunately, this fantasy has serious consequences for science, for scientists and for society.

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