Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Can You Name a Living Scientist?

The April 7 issue of Business Week has an interesting piece in the BTW section titled Science? What's Science? The piece discusses a recent poll of 1,304 U.S. adults by Harris Interactive.

Here's some detail as reported by Business Week:

When the adults were asked to name the most influential roll models for today's youth:

31% picked entertainers (3% named Britney Spears)
19% named an athlete
0% picked a scientist

When asked to name a living scientist only 11% could with the most mentions going to Stephen Hawking. Business Week believes - because a Hawking character recently appeared on an episode of
The Simpsons - it may have helped.

3 of 4 adults admitted they do not have a good understanding of science but they would like their kids to do better.

8 of 10 adults believe science is not receiving the attention it deserves in school.

The Business Week piece comments this poll may explain why U.S. high schoolers ranked 16th out of 30 countries on standardized science exams.

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