Scientific literacy is explored in this paper which describes two studies that seek to
understand a particular feature of the nature of science; namely scientists’ habits of mind.
The research investigated scientists’ views of scientific evidence and how scientists judge
evidence claims. The first study is concerned with scientists’ views of what constitutes
superstitious beliefs. The second concerned potential conflicts between scientific theories
and evidence, and religious beliefs. The research findings suggest that these scientists,
unlike their stereotype, hold idiosyncratic views of what constitutes good scientific
evidence and sound, credible testimony. The interviews provide a window into scientific
thinking as practiced by modern scientists, and suggest that the scientists are rather more
open to alternative thinking than might be supposed. The implications of these findings
are discussed in the context of their implications for scientific literacy.