As summarized this week in Science, the Pew Research Center for People and the Press reported results of a series of 3 surveys of the public and scientists on their perception of science and scientists as well as the public’s general knowledge of science:
The survey of the general public was conducted on landlines and cell phones among 2,001 adults April 28-May 12; the online survey of scientists was conducted among a sample of 2,533 members of the AAAS from May 1-June 14. Science knowledge questions were included in a separate survey of the general public, conducted on landlines and cell phones among 1,005 adults June 18-21.
Not sure what to make of the public ranking members of the military as those who most “contribute a lot to society’s well-being” … 84% versus 70% for scientists and … in a little dig to that other class of doctors … 69% for medical doctors.
A bigger concern is the public response to “which comes closer to your view …”
Govt investment in research is essential for scientific progress – 60% [!!]
Private investment ensures enough progress w/out govt investment – 29% [!!!]
No wonder Congress doesn’t have a fire lit under them to increase and stabilize research funding …
You can take the general science knowledge quiz and, when you are done, raise your eyebrows at the perhaps not entirely surprising results in the elegant Tufte-esque display of the data by demographic and question.