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Here is a thirteen-question quiz designed to rank your bare-minimum science understanding. Take it and then shudder in shock at the test results among Americans.

Then it becomes clear how something like this can even be a thing.

I mean, really, Congress? You want the National Science Foundation to fund no research unless it strikes you as "groundbreaking"? Hell, I have a 30-year-old degree in French, FFS, and even I understand science better than that.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2013 06:09 am (UTC)
Well, I'm in the Uk and I doubt if our science teaching is that much better than yours but I got 13 out of 13 and didn't think these questions at all testing. I only had to think about 2 of them. They struck me as general knowledge rather than particularly scientific. Could be a function of age - we're about the same age.

Perhaps the only consolation re Congress is that they might find something "groundbreaking" that we would consider normal??
Apr. 30th, 2013 06:26 am (UTC)
Certainly age--or, rather, an inquiring mind going back quite a few years--would help. I only hesitated over a couple of the questions, but got all of them right myself.

My understanding of the process of scientific research is very limited, but this whole proposal reeks of the crazy right-wing anti-science bias in politics. As I read the article, it's suggesting that this House committee wants to insert itself into the peer-review process. That's bloody terrifying. Many commenters on the article seem to feel the same way: that this is an attempt to block federal funding for climate change research.
Apr. 30th, 2013 06:24 am (UTC)
Part of the problem now is that many teachers are forced to spend most of their time trying to get the kids to act like civilized human beings instead of being able to teach. I spent most of the time in the public high school school library I worked at babysitting problem kids rather then teaching then about how to use the library. It did not help that most of the computers and books were so outdated they were useless.
Apr. 30th, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
I don't think I read the Pew results as an indictment of current education so much as the overall failure of American curiosity and self-education.

That's undoubtedly my personal bias. I had virtually NO science education, and my ability to answer all those questions arises from a general interest in What's Going On In The World. I think maybe I might have learned in high school that the earth's atmosphere is predominantly nitrogen, but almost all the rest of the answers I learned from independent Paying Attention. Thank you, Internet.

Which is not to say that American public school teachers don't have a hell of a hard row to hoe. It's frightening to think how fast we're plunging downhill as a nation because we stopped valuing education.
May. 1st, 2013 08:54 am (UTC)
Actually, I was kind of heartened to see the average quiz score peak at 10 out of 13; I mean, sure, the questions were pretty easy, but I actually expected worse. Thus do my low expectations ensure my happiness, I suppose.
May. 1st, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
It's a simple, effective formula. :D
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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