23 巻 (2013) 1 号 p. 29-36
This paper discusses a general framework for examining the structure and the function of scientific literacy, which is an important element of risk literacy. There are five layers of literacy: (1) basic literacy for communication in documents; (2) functional literacy in everyday life and the workplace; (3) scientific and mathematical literacy, and media and Internet literacy for students and citizens; (4) civil literacy for citizenship; and (5) academic and research literacies for professionals and researchers. This paper focuses on the concept of scientific literacy as informed by Baltes’s five criteria of wisdom (Baltes & Smith, 2008): factual knowledge, procedural knowledge, contextualization, value-goal relativism, and recognition and management of uncertainty. In addition, scientific, media, and mathematical literacies are basic elements of risk literacy, as civil literacy is for citizenship. Risk-literate citizens can understand risk information and manage their risk. Four methods for improving the scientific and risk literacies of the public are discussed: science education, science communication by mass media, and practices of local and Internet communities.