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The lifelong learning of science is actually becoming harder and harder to avoid. We can expect that there will be fewer and fewer adults who are truly uninterested in science and technology. What will happen is that people will periodically be interested and periodically uninterested. The rising impact of science and technology on lifelong learning, with the constant flow of information through the media, Internet and 24 hour news cycle, will make some interest in science some of time unavoidable for most people. Thus, the question is not whether adults will learn science throughout life, but what they will learn. What people learn will be complicated by that fact that science is not always completely objective and unproblematic; and that the public will follow its own instincts with respect to who they trust and on what topics. The real challenge for the lifelong learning of science is learning to be a savvy consumer of scientific information and alleged scientific claims in a world awash in all sorts of information and information sources.


Keynote address at the 1st International Conference on Lifelong Education and Leadership, held October 29-November 1 2015 in Olomouc, Czech Republic.