Top 5 Good & Bads from the Science and Engineering Indicators Report

Written by The Star-Splitter

The National Science Foundational conducts a biennial survey of the public’s view on science and technology which they release to Congress. Statements from that survey are reported in Chapter 7, Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understandings. The report can be found here. The whole report is found by truncating down to this. Here are the top five good quotes from the paper as well as the top five worst.

Top 5 Good Quotes

5. “Americans’ support for oil and nuclear energy has rebounded
or stabilized following declines associated with
major accidents.”

That’s pretty good. Although it later goes on to say that it’s roughly equal to the support before the Fukushima accident of 2011, this shows that nuclear power is not going to be shoved out in sight of any minor event.

4. “Most Americans see using stem cells from human embryos
in medical research as morally acceptable.”

It’s nice to know that we’ve finally moved on to where we believe it’s better to save living, responsible, socially-integrated people with names and a past than letting them die if it includes using stem cells.

3. “On several questions, however, Americans expressed
fewer reservations than Europeans. For example, fewer
Americans agreed that people would be better off if they
lived a simpler life, without so much science and technology.”

Wow! We beat the Europeans on this one, that’s pretty surprising. We’re finally realizing that the computers we use and television we watch and medicine that saves us are actually good things. Take that, Amish!

2. “Americans are more likely to have a great deal of confidence
in leaders of both the scientific community and
the medical community than in leaders of any group except
the military.”

So close to scientific confidence. It’s a sad revelation that people with guns are trusted more than those with beakers and… I don’t know, facts. Keep in mind, this is 2014- how long ago was it that we were told lies about WMD’s? How long ago was it that we were told lies about not having our phones tapped into?

1. “Most Americans continue to say that the benefits of science
outweigh the potential harms and that the federal
government should fund research that advances the
frontiers of knowledge.”

Yes, yes, and yes! Now if only we pushed for action. At least the support is there though.

Top 5 Bad Quotes

5. “”Ordinary tomatoes, the ones we normally eat,
do not have genes, whereas genetically engineered tomatoes
do” (false; Europe correct: 54%, United States correct:
48%).”

They don’t… what? This is the reason why genetically modified foods are looked at as evil.

4. 7-2Ok, so maybe I get blinded by not watching major news networks most of the time, but how do you run a society which uses so much science and technology without informing people about it? This is the problem that’s been brought up since Einstein- we are living in a time where we are not keeping up with the advancements we make socially. 1.3%… come on.

3. About 47% of Americans correctly indicated that the
“greenhouse effect” is not caused by the use of nuclear energy,
in comparison to 58% of Europeans.

This might be why we are still split about climate change. I didn’t even know this was a wrong idea that people held. Radioactivity? Really?

2. “The earliest humans
lived at the same time as the dinosaurs” (false; Europe correct:
61%, United States correct: 43%);

Flintstones is not a documentary. Case closed.

1. “First, when asked whether intelligent design should
be taught alongside or in addition to evolution, a majority
of Americans favor this approach to education.

No… just no… this is why I write on this blog. This is why I debate people like NephilimFree. This is why we need more science communicators and awareness because the last thing we need is another Scopes Monkey Trial. The last thing we need is another Dover case. This is a majority. A majority. And they had a sizeable population that they polled. By the way, this starts off by saying “First”. You want to know what it goes on to say?

“A 2007 survey of 926 high school biology teachers also found that 28% might be classified as advocates for evolutionary biology in their classrooms, whereas about 13% of teachers said they tell their students that “creationism or intelligent design” are “valid, scientific” theories about the “origin of the species.””

Not only don’t we actually teach evolution (that’s probably why people aren’t educated about it enough to understand it), but there are 13% of teachers which are actually teaching creationism. They might not have lesson plans, I haven’t looked into it although there are pictures of tests which would lead you to think that some do, but they are still informing their class that it’s worthy of being called scientific. Ridiculous.

This report is like the ultimate sandwich. You know when people say that you with every detracting comment, you should add a positive complement? Yeah, that’s this. It’s so great… and at the same time, so… revolting. Just revolting.

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