Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Survey: Americans struggle with science; respect scientists

Date:
February 14, 2014
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
While most Americans could be a bit more knowledgeable in the ways of science, a majority are interested in hearing about the latest scientific breakthroughs and think highly of scientists. This is according to a survey of more than 2,200 people.

While most Americans could be a bit more knowledgeable in the ways of science, a majority are interested in hearing about the latest scientific breakthroughs and think highly of scientists.

This is according to a survey of more than 2,200 people conducted by the National Science Foundation, one that is conducted every two years and is part of a report -- Science and Engineering Indicators -- that the National Science Board provides to the president and Congress.

A Michigan State University faculty member served as lead author for the chapter in the report that covers public perceptions of science. John Besley, an associate professor in MSU's Department of Advertising and Public Relations, reviewed the data, as well as similar surveys from around the world, and highlighted key findings on Feb. 14 during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

According to the survey, more than 90 percent of Americans think scientists are "helping to solve challenging problems" and are "dedicated people who work for the good of humanity."

"It's important for Americans to maintain a high regard for science and scientists," said Besley, who also is the Ellis N. Brandt Chair in Public Relations. "It can help ensure funding and help attract future scientists."

Unfortunately, Americans still have a tough time answering some basic science questions. Out of a total of nine questions that covered the physical and biological sciences, the average score was 6.5 correct answers.

For example, only 74 percent of those queried knew that Earth revolved around the sun, while fewer than half (48 percent) knew that human beings developed from earlier species of animals.

Some of the other highlights of the survey include:

  • A majority of Americans -- more than 90 percent -- say they are "very interested" or "moderately interested" in learning about new medical discoveries.
  • The United States appears to be relatively strong in the use of what's known as "informal science education." Nearly 60 percent of Americans have visited a zoo/aquarium, natural history museum or a science and technology museum.
  • Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed think the benefits of science outweigh any potential dangers.
  • About a third of the respondents think science and technology should get more funding.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Survey: Americans struggle with science; respect scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214111105.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2014, February 14). Survey: Americans struggle with science; respect scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214111105.htm
Michigan State University. "Survey: Americans struggle with science; respect scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214111105.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Company Copies Keys From Photos

Company Copies Keys From Photos

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) A new company allows customers to make copies of keys by simply uploading a couple of photos. But could it also be great for thieves? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

Inside London's Massive Sewer Tunnel Project

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Billions of dollars are being spent on a massive super sewer to take away London's vast output of waste, which is endangering the River Thames. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins