Food and scientific illiteracy

Mary L. Nucci, William K. Hallman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Food consumption choices are laden with meaning beyond issues of health or nutrition. Unfortunately, these choices are often driven by cultural constructs obtained from popular culture or word of mouth. Because food is ubiquitous, imbedded in our cultural milieu, and absolutely essential to life, it is important to consider the potential variables that confound the dissemination of scientific information about food issues. The results of a decade-worth of multiple audience studies examining public perceptions about the food/health linkage of food and new food technologies demonstrate that scientific illiteracy and confusion are often key to consumers’ ability to evaluate and make decisions about food choices. Science centers’ and museums’ expertise in communicating science to multiple audiences could play an important role in addressing scientific illiteracy about food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEating Together in Our Changing World: Museums & Social Issues 7:1 Thematic Issue
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315429922
ISBN (Print)9781611328264
StatePublished - Sep 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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