Every two years, the National Science Foundation conducts a nationwide survey that stands as the “State of Science” in America. As well as tracking progress in science education and science jobs in the labor force, it provides a baseline of Americans’ understanding of their natural world.
And not all of the findings on this year’s survey are as horrible as the headline on this post implies. For instance, “Levels of factual knowledge in the United States are comparable to those in Europe and are generally higher than levels in countries in other parts of the world.” For instance, 44 percent of those surveyed in the European Union in 2005 said the sun revolved around the Earth.
Also positive is how Americans generally respect the discipline. “Most Americans see the scientists and engineers as “dedicated people who work for the good of humanity,” the report states. And scores are up on the nine-question survey that the NSF uses to assess scientific knowledge compared with two years ago (5.8 correct answers compared with 5.6 correct answers). Still, there appears to be a gender gap in scientific knowledge. “On average, men tend to answer more factual science knowledge questions correctly (70% correct) than do women (60% correct),” the report states. When limited to biology questions, men and women score the same.
But the takeaway is this: Not all of us understand the most basic concepts of science. The chart below is adapted from the survey.Are You Smarter Than an American? | Create Infographics
What We're Following See More »
"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."
The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.
The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.