For several years we have used the word "scienticity" in our book notes to describe the science-y quality of a book, whether the exhibits a viewpoint that includes science as a part of her cultural perspective. By extension we've come to use "scienticity" to mean how much one has integrated an analytical and rational outlook into one's world-view.
Scienticity means stopping to smell the flowers, admiring their color, and noticing their botanical names, too.
Scienticity takes nature as it presents itself. It's an attitude that believes nature can be understood in nature's terms, and that understanding nature is a worthwhile enterprise.
Scientific ideas in the public discourse often appear surrounded by confusion or misunderstanding. There can be many reasons for this:
- ideas may be unfamiliar to the public -- new ideas take time to understand;
- ideas may be inaccurately transmitted or explained by well-meaning people with inadequate, incomplete, or inaccurate understanding; and
- ideas and scientific facts may be maliciously manipulated by some who wish to create confusion to advance their own agendas.
At Scienticity we do our best to study and explain science as accurately and precisely as we can. We don't want to be scientific arbiters for everyone. Our goal is to arm people with their own snake-oil detectors, tools to help everyone, every day, with an understanding of how good science operates so that they can navigate their own course in an otherwise forbidding technical landscape.
Scienticity is the idea that unifies all of Ars Hermeneutica's projects in informal science education and science outreach. These projects embody our efforts towards our vision of increasing scientific literacy in America.
Let us introduce our current projects here; there is more information inside.
- An Eye for Science -- connecting people with the natural world through images
- The Buried Nose -- our blog about science books for non-scientists
- Science Book Challenge -- read a book for science literacy!
- Science Book Notes -- our collection of short reviews and ratings of science books for non-scientists
- Speaking of Science -- our blog about science understanding and communication
- Time Capsules -- Brief stories about science, history, and culture
- Five Million Elephants