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 »
In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.
"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.
Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."
The chairman of the DCCC said Debbie Wasserman Schultz won't be getting financial help from the organization this year, even as she faces a well-funded primary challenger. "Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) said the committee’s resources will be spent helping Democrats in tough races rather than those in seats that are strongholds for the party." Executive Director Kelly Ward added, “We never spend money in safe seats."