The liberally educated person — whether a poet, politician, or physicist — must understand that the world is largely shaped and driven by scientific discovery. Familiarity with the vernacular of science, knowledge of some of the basic scientific principles, and confidence in one’s ability to fit new scientific discoveries into one’s ever-expanding lode of scientific knowledge are valuable qualities of an informed citizen. As a consumer, an individual makes personal choices daily which hinge on science, such as whether to smoke, what food to eat, and what car to buy. As voters and citizens, individuals also need enough understanding of science to select policy makers, who are typically nonscientists, who will make good choices when faced with scientific questions that fundamentally affect the whole society. Ultimately, then, each individual bears the responsibility for deciding what to do about, and how much money to spend on, nuclear reactors, global warming, environmental toxins, expensive space programs, biomedical research, and applications of biotechnology. While every educated person may not be a scientist, he or she must have enough knowledge of the scientific method and of fundamental concepts of the natural sciences to understand and make informed decisions affecting both private and public issues of health and the environment.