National Science Foundation Study Reveals that Americans Like Scientists, But Not Science

By Shweta Iyer on February 14, 2014 5:03 PM EST

science
Average Americans may not be very interested in science, but a majority of them are interested in hearing about the latest scientific breakthroughs. (Photo: Photo courtesy of <a href=&)

If you feel that reading about the latest gizmos and gadgets is more interesting than studying for a school science quiz, then you are not alone. A survey conducted by the National Science Foundation indicates that average Americans may not be very interested in science but a majority of them are interested in hearing about the latest scientific breakthroughs, according to a press release Friday.

Like Us on Facebook

The survey,which is conducted by the National Science Board as part of a report called Science and Engineering Indicators every two years, had more than 2,200 participants. The findings were presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting. Researchers found that Americans think very highly of scientists. According to the survey, 90 percent of Americans think highly of scientists as they 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, it can help ensure funding and help attract future scientists", said John Besley, an associate professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Michigan State University (MSU).

But the survey also indicates that most Americans need to brush up on their basic science. The fact that the earth revolves around the sun was a fact known to only 74 percent of those queried, while only 48 percent of the people knew that human beings evolved from earlier species of animals. Out of a total of nine questions that covered the physical and biological sciences, the average score was 6.5 correct answers.

The findings of the survey indicate that 90 percent of Americans are very interested or moderately interested in learning about new medical discoveries. Though the American population seems to be very interested in informal or practical science education, since 60 percent of those queried have visited a zoo or aquarium, natural history museum, or a science and technology museum.

90 percent of those surveyed also feel that technology and science are more of a boon than bane, since the benefits far outweigh the potential dangers. One third of those queried also support more funding for science and technology.

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Sponsored From Around the Web

    ZergNet
Follow iScience Times
us on facebook RSS
 
us on google
 
Most Popular
INSIDE iScience Times
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet  Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)