SCIENCE

Neil deGrasse Tyson Sounds The Alarm Over Science Illiteracy, And For Good Reason

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, 'Cosmos' television show host and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium a
Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, 'Cosmos' television show host and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History speaks August 4, 2014 after a screening of James Cameron's 'Deepsea Challenge 3D' film at the museum in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't one to mince words.

In recent weeks the celebrated astrophysicist has offered up strong opinions on everything from the motion picture Interstellar (decent science) to New Year's resolutions (doesn't make them) to deflategate (it's complicated).

Recently, HuffPost Science asked Tyson to weigh in on the outbreak of measles that has spread across the country since December.

The outbreak seems to have been fueled in part by concerns over the safety of childhood vaccines that led some parents not to vaccinate their children. The vaccines have been shown to be both safe and effective, so what's up with that?

In an email to The Huffington Post, Tyson offered a simple but disturbing explanation:

"Not enough of our society is trained how to understand and interpret quantitative information. This activity is a centerpiece of science literacy to which we should all strive -- the future health, wealth, and security of our democracy depend on it. Until that is achieved, we are at risk of making under-informed decisions that affect ourselves, our communities, our country, and even the world."

Are you listening, America?

HuffPost

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