Monday, September 21, 2009

Scientific Literacy


The Pew Research Center posed 12 incredibly easy general science questions to 1,005 randomly sampled adults.

Only 10% of the people polled could answer all 12 questions correctly.

Seriously?

This is really, really basic stuff that informs and drives many decisions on public policy. If you don't know the facts, how can you make decisions that affect other people?

You can take the poll yourself here.

10 comments:

Old Fart said...

It's just one more thing to thank the government for.

Old Fart said...

One other thing.. totally off topic. It appears that any one who has a link to Well Hell Michelles blog is getting a pop up to sign in. It's happening here and at another blog that links to her.

Dan said...

It's frightening to think that I am in the top 10% of scientific literacy in this country.

Donna said...

I missed one question. What's the popup about Wellhellmichelle doing on your blog?

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I'm getting the pop up too.

I missed one.

Nuke said...

That was easier than some of the stuff on "are 5th graders better edumicated than you".

Old Fart, thanks that makes sense. I figured my Firefox was borked after the last update, but it is all on sites that link to Michelle.

Faith said...

I missed two (the question about lasers focusing sound waves, and the electrons being smaller than atoms one), but I think that's pretty damned good for someone that graduated with a degree in basically reading old literature, FFS. It's not like I run across a need to know how lasers work on daily basis. I think that most people who answer the electron being smaller than an atom question are mostly guessing, too. I haven't studied that shit since high school. No effing way I'd remember it without it being involved in a recent news story of some sort. (Um, one that I'd be interested in reading, btw.)

What scares me is that almost 40% of people think that all radioactivity is man-made, and that almost FIFTY percent think that antiobiotics will kill viruses as well as bacteria. Jeezy chreezy...

I Travel for JOOLS said...

Faith,

I truly believe most Americans are medically illiterate and that must change. In fact, I think common sense medical literacy, such as how to read a label, should be taught in high school. I had a friend whose daughter nearly died from unknowingly taking too much Tylenol. I've been handed incorrect prescriptions more than once and fortunately knew the difference, but most people wouldn't even know to ask.

As part of this whole health care debate, I believe if they really want to save lives and cut mortality, they need to spend some bucks on common sense medical education.

Joe said...

It must be easy if I got them all correct.

Kanga said...

Got 'em all. Yay me!