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“In this world of ours now, to be an informed participant in the great conversation of mankind is to have an alert awareness and understanding of what’s happening in the world.” In the video below the British philosopher A.C. Grayling reflects on the importance of being literate, and especially scientifically literate, so that people can think critically for themselves.

Science journalists help to empower people to think for themselves by reporting the knowledge and understanding from science about the world we live in, and to be critical of claims that are made in science.

Even though author Malcolm Gladwell seems to be unaware that mostly generalist journalists are surviving at the newspapers that are cutting staff, I hope he will be right when he says that “the role of the generalist is diminishing. Journalism has to get smarter.”

On behalf of the science journalism blog I wish our profession and all of us contributing to it a critical and smart 2010!

This post was originally published on the Science Journalism blog of the World Federation of Science Journalists.