Friday, July 10, 2009

Take the Test

I'm a sucker for science news and views, and for online tests. So I was delighted to take part in the Pew Research Center's Science Knowledge Quiz. You answer 12 science-related questions and they give you your score. I got 12 out of 12 (I'm not bragging - it's not that difficult, trust me!)

What is worrying is that 90% of the US population in a nationwide survey didn't get all 12 questions right. Admittedly I have a few things going for me that make it more likely I'll be in the top 10%: I'm male, middle-aged and college educated (according to Pew's own demographic breakdown of correct responses).

The Pew quiz is part of a larger study of US citizen attitudes towards science - which are re-assuringly positive (though soldiers then teachers score higher in terms of 'contributing a lot to the wellbeing of our society', with scientists coming in third). Oh, and business executives score lowest of all professions surveyed - oops ...

With Ireland intent on becoming a smart economy I wonder how well a similar sample of Irish citizens would perform? Still it's nice to know that aul ones like me can continue to play our part. So go ahead, take the test.

3 comments:

  1. What's much more worrying is the low proportion who do not believe in evolution by natural selection, and the high proportion who believe in creative design, UFO's, alien abductions etc. If someone is ignorant you can teach them. If they are stupid, they will always be stupid.

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  2. Also very, very interesting that only 65% of the respondents knew that CO2 was the 'global warming gas'. Really cool link, cheers.

    Talked to a teacher today who was convinced one could get pregnant by sitting on a toilet seat, and told her class of 6th class students so. Sometimes its down to the message as well as how it is delivered!

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  3. Very informative and excellent article. Keep rocking.Car Payment Calculator

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