USA -- Science Savvy?
Today USA Today ran an article about Americans' outlook on science... and some of the statistics in the article are downright depressing. Here's a sampling:
- 70 percent of people believe the USA is not the world leader in science achievement.
- 79 percent agree science is not receiving the attention it deserves in schools.
- 26 percent think they themselves have a good understanding of science.
- 44 percent couldn't identify a single scientist, living or dead, whom they'd consider a role model for the nation's young people.
However, Jon Miller, a Michigan State University political science who studies scientific literacy, believes the average American knows more about basic science now then a few decades ago. He pointed out that in the early 1980s, most Americans believed antibiotics killed viruses and bacteria--now 60 percent know antibiotics only kill bacteria.
Miller believes this learning occurs through interaction with healthcare professionals. So what are you doing to spread scientific knowledge to your friends, family, neighbors, patients or community members who do not have science backgrounds?