Can you tell me why stem cells are so important, or why the moon has phases, or how old the universe is? Can you explain what carbon dating is, or the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission, or why it’s hotter in summer than it is in winter? If you can’t, then you might not be scientifically literate. This is problematic, because science is not only really damn awesome, it’s also important. Today, tomorrow, or next week, you’re going to see a news headline about an advance in stem cell research or a warning about climate change, and even if you don’t understand what it means, it’s definitely going to affect your life. Science clearly isn’t being taught or communicated as effectively as it should be—sometimes even scientists themselves are scientifically illiterate outside of their specific field of study, which is ABSURD. Our world is becoming more and more technological and scientific every day, so everyone needs to have fundamental background knowledge in order to understand and be actively involved in scientific issues. This doesn’t mean you need to do what a scientist does—like, you don’t have to build a robot to appreciate the Mars rovers any more than you have to build a plane to appreciate flying. But the Mars rovers exist, and they impact your world, and they’ll impact the world of your children too. Becoming scientifically literate should be like learning how to read: everyone should be taught basic scientific facts, concepts, vocabulary, history and philosophy. Like reading, it’ll open your eyes and enrich your life, because science is exciting—our universe is beautiful and extraordinary and exquisite, and everyone should learn about it. For starters, check out Tumblr’s #science tag, my links page, and the #sci-lit tag, which I’m aiming to take over and use to build up a database of core concepts of science. Go forth and seek knowledge!