Stephen Hawking:

Public Attitudes Toward Science

Work Sheet

Note: the line numbers given here refer to the printed text handed out in class.

I. Stylistic devices (ll. 1- 20)

Find examples for the following stylistic devices in the text:

1) enumerations:

2) depreciatory adjectives:

3) degree adverbs:

II. Questions on the text:

1) What is the writer’s attitude towards the present time and towards the past?

2) Could change be prevented? Explain.

3) Which factors could slow down progress considerably?

4) Why does the public in a democratic society need to have a basic understanding of science?

5) What is the writer’s attitude towards the teaching of science in schools?

6) What role does the writer see for the media, in particular for television?

7) Which science-related issues does the writer mention in the text? Which ones does he deal with in more detail? Why?

8) How does the writer support his arguments with examples and illustrations?

III. Version: Translate the text from l. 1 – l. 40 (the first three paragraphs from [“Whether we like it or not…] to the end of the third paragraph [“…for television series such as Cosmos and for science fiction.”]

IV. Going beyond the text/Composition:

(Write a composition of at least 200 words on one of the topics)

1) Stephen Hawking wants an informed public to make decisions. He does not want to leave important decisions to scientific experts. Do you agree? Explain your answer by giving reasons.

2) Do you agree with the priorities Hawking gives to the issues he mentions? How would you see the priorities of the science-related issues he enumerates: greenhouse effect, food supply, nuclear weapons, genetic engineering?