Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Einstein and the Other Spears

Okay I read this and had to drop everything.

Spears trumps Stephen Hawking. Worse, nearly half of Americans couldn’t name Einstein, Hawking, or any other current scientist as a science role model for today’s youth, according to a new study on “The State of Science in America,” by Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, conducted by Harris Interactive. The survey reveals for the first time what average Americans think about science, science education, and our nation’s leadership in science. Most (70 percent) believe America is not the world leader in science, and only 35 percent think the U.S. will be the world leader in science in the next 20 years. Among those adults pessimistic about America’s prospects in science, 79 percent agree science is not receiving the attention it deserves in our nation’s schools. The survey found strong support for a range of ways to improve science education, including more support for teachers, more time spent learning science, increasing parental involvement and finding more ways to teach kids about science. You can read more about the survey at www.stateofscience.org.

So I went and read the entire survey and here what I think:

  1. Scientists are not seen as role models, well I am not use they ever were. When only 4% of adults could name a living scientist why would kids have them as role models.
  2. Adults are not impressed with how seriously America is taking science education. Well we are not taking it seriously. Science has been pushed out because it is not tested for AYP, but next year....
  3. Adults think science education is falling short and deserves increased funding and attention. Then ask if their taxes should go up to provide this funding and see what the answer is. Do more just don't cost me more. How about this idea, send a little bit of money on early science education and reap the benefits in the years to come.
  4. The idea for improving science education contained no earth shattering or revolutionary ideas, just things we know would help.
Bottom line time. A vast majority of people in the survey (87%) feel science is important. 79% thinks science does not receive the attention needed. 87% agree that more funding is needed. Hey this is a mandate from the people. Science needs to be put back in the forefront of education. From the survey 87% say they personally benefit from science everyday (I think it is 100%). It is science that put a man on the moon and launch us into this new age of instant accessibility and global connection. The understanding of science is essential to Pink's New Mind and the ever flattening world we live in.

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