- Data Points
How Much Does The Public Know About Science?
A new report found some surprises when it looked at the state of scientific knowledge amongst Americans.
The public's lack of scientific literacy is a familiar lament voiced by scientists. But a new Pew Research Center Report finds that while Americans' knowledge of the sciences is complicated, it's not as bad as perhaps some have feared.
Pew asked more than 3,200 U.S. adults a set of 12 multiple-choice questions testing knowledge of scientific topics as varied as geology, physics, and medicine. Americans gave more correct answers than incorrect ones, with 82 percent of college graduates and post-graduates getting at least 8 of 12 questions right. Only 40 percent of adults with a high school diploma or less got 8 of the 12 questions correct.
The report also found that men answered, on average, 8.6 out of 12 questions