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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Americans Struggle With Evaluating Science

Only 26 percent of Americans believe they have a good understanding of science, according to a national survey of more than 1,300 adults conducted by Harris Interactive for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. As Americans look to improve their knowledge, determining which sources to trust is key, say education experts, which means checking credentials and developing a basic understanding of research methodology.
The concern of Gerry Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, is likely to really resonate with many who work at the intersection of science and religion—especially those working hard to promote things like the integrity of evolution education and action to address global climate change. "We have in this country," Wheeler tells the paper, "a major crisis of people listening to people they feel comfortable with [rather than] listening to a variety of groups and critically thinking through their messages." —Heather Wax