Thursday, October 5, 2006

Evidence of Poor Public Understanding of Science

From ABC News site:

Science advocates said the American public shows a poor grasp of science when they engage important issues like stem cell funding or global warming. They said there aren't enough qualified American technicians to help turn basic science into marketable products.

A 2002 survey by the National Science Foundation found that half the public didn't know that electrons are smaller than atoms or that dinosaurs and humans never walked the earth together.

That's because science education for most children is second-rate, especially between kindergarten and 12th grade, said science advocates. Below-average students study "pond biology and old science," Miller said.

"We see a lot of kids dropping out of science and not studying it," said education professor Richard Duschl, of Rutgers, who used to teach high school.

Some research has indicated that American science students rank worse than students in many other countries. Foreign universities in Europe and elsewhere are already challenging this country in attracting some of the world's best scientists.

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