Investigating Views of Science and Humanities

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Abstract

This qualitative study explored the understandings of people with a university education in science and those without a university science background about the evidence base relating to Complementary and Alternative Medicine - a controversial multibillion-dollar industry on a global scale. The findings indicated that science- trained and non-science-trained respondents alike valued scientific rigour and testing in relation to health care but also used subjective kinds of evidence in justifying their views and decisions about CAMS. In addition, both science and humanities graduates engaged with evidence in similar ways as defined by "habits of mind." These findings are discussed in relation to their implications for science education and engagement with scientific ideas, including scientific literacy and the belief systems that people bring to their understanding of science.