Monday, March 16, 2009

Americans value science; we just don't know any

Americans apparently overwelmingly value science as "absolutely essential" or "very important" to the U.S. healthcare system (86%), the U.S. global reputation (79%), and the U.S. economy (77%) but have a dismal understanding of the topic.

"A new national survey commissioned by the California Academy of Sciences and conducted by Harris Interactive® reveals that the U.S. public is unable to pass even a basic scientific literacy test."

According to the survey:
* Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun. [right, credit]
* Only 59% of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.
* Only 47% of adults can roughly approximate the percent of the Earth's surface that is covered with water.*
* Only 21% of adults answered all three questions correctly.

You can take the same literacy test at the Cal Academy website at

[quotes and stats from Cal Academy news release]

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