I'm a computer science major in college right now. I'm going to wind up taking mostly computer science and mathematics courses. I've taken some lower-division calculus-based physics (physics for scientists and engineers-type material), a decent freshman-level biology course, and I had some chemistry in high school. I want to, at some point, at least learn enough to understand undergraduate-level physics (Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics and basic quantum mechanics) and some organic chemistry. How much science knowledge is enough for someone who studies technical-type things? How much science knowledge is enough for a non-science/engineering major? This is significant because, for example, I can tell you for sure that I don't know exactly how genetically modified foods are produced, exactly how a nuclear reactor works, etc. When UN weapons inspectors traipse around in a desert looking for weapons of mass destruction, I don't know exactly what they're looking for or how they do it. These are issues with clear implications for public policy and so on, and they affect our everyday lives. But many people have nowhere as much background as I do, modest as it is. Apparently many people are downright afraid of math (!) and science -- there are millions of fundamentalists in America. And so in terms of general technical literacy I and most people on this forum are beyond most people, even beyond many university students. How much should one know? No one doubts the importance of cultural literacy -- a general knowledge of the most important works of literature, a grasp of the major religions, common proverbs and folklore, etc. But I think some kind of scientific or technical literacy of some kind is just as important -- being able to do integration by parts, say, is equally as important as knowing what a "Judas kiss" is. This is a viewpoint few people take. Thoughts?