Science Knowledge Quiz

Posted on July 14, 2009  Comments (5)

pew research science quiz results

Pew Research Center’s new study of science and its impact on society includes a science knowledge quiz. You can test yourself on the quiz. Thankfully I was able to get all 12 answers correct, which 10% of those taking the test have done. The median score was 8 out of 12.

I find some of the results surprising. The question most often answered correctly is “Which over-the-counter drug do doctors recommend that people take to help prevent heart attacks?”. The least often “Electrons are smaller than atoms,” a true or false question fewer than 50% of people got right.

Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media

Americans like science. Overwhelming majorities say that science has had a positive effect on society and that science has made life easier for most people. Most also say that government investments in science, as well as engineering and technology, pay off in the long run. And scientists are very highly rated compared with members of other professions: Only members of the military and teachers are more likely to be viewed as contributing a lot to society’s well-being.

Just 17% of the public thinks that U.S. scientific achievements rate as the best in the world. A survey of more than 2,500 scientists, conducted in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), finds that nearly half (49%) rate U.S. scientific achievements as the best in the world.

large percentages think that government investments in basic scientific research (73%) and engineering and technology (74%) pay off in the long run. Notably, the partisan differences in these views are fairly modest, with 80% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans saying that government investments in basic science pay off in the long run. Comparable percentages of Democrats and Republicans say the same about government investments in engineering and technology.

In this regard, public views about whether funding for scientific research should be increased, decreased or kept the same have changed little since the start of the decade. Currently, more than twice as many people say that, if given the task of making up the budget for the federal government, they would increase (39%) rather than decrease (14%) funding for scientific research; 40% say they would keep spending as it is. That is largely unchanged from 2001, when 41% said they would increase funding for scientific research.

Related: Nearly Half of Adults in the USA Don’t Know How Long it Takes the Earth to Circle the SunUnderstanding the Evolution of Human Beings by CountryInvest in Science for a Strong EconomyTry to Answer 6 Basic Science QuestionsWhat Everyone Should Learn

5 Responses to “Science Knowledge Quiz”

  1. shashank naithani
    July 14th, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

    hi john

    the quiz was intresting i was 68% better of the public

  2. Jennifer
    July 15th, 2009 @ 6:33 am

    Good thing the atom question wasn’t multiple choice… with QUARK as one of the choices :) Great post! I just wish there’s more science education for women. What I mean is, I wish there’s less stigma among us girls about science.

  3. Dave Brown
    July 15th, 2009 @ 11:43 am

    Woohooo 12 out of 12. I guess that means I’m wiked smart right? Here pretty soon I’ll be getting a call from harvard for a proffesor position. That should be nice. I’ve always wanted tenure.

  4. Curious Cat Science Blog » Poor Results on Evolution and Big Bang Questions Omitted From NSF Report
    April 10th, 2010 @ 8:45 am

    People have the right to their opinions. But those opinions which are related to scientific knowledge (whether it is about evolution, the origin of the universe, cancer, the speed of light, polio vaccinations, multi-factorial designed experiments, magnetic fields, chemical catalysts, the effectiveness of antibiotics against viral infections, electricity, optics, bioaccumulation, etc.) are part of their scientific literacy. You can certainly believe antibiotics are effective against viral infections but that is an indication you are scientifically illiterate on that topic…

  5. Pew Science and Technology Knowledge Quiz » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    April 25th, 2013 @ 2:37 am

    [...] Looking back at my previous post, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, in the 2009 Pew Science Knowledge Quiz it is also the case that under 50% got the are electrons smaller than atoms question [...]

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