Roughly every two years, the National Science Foundation’s National Science Board releases the much awaited Science and Engineering Indicators report, a kind of temperature-taking for science in America that compiles all the latest evidence on science funding, student trends, the science workforce, and much else. Within this data dump, the heavily read Chapter 7 always addresses a subject that has been dear to me, and to the many pieces I’ve written for Science Progress: What are the latest findings on the relationship between science and the U.S. public, not only in terms of knowledge, but also engagement?
In my view, the picture here remains pretty dismal. But perhaps out of academic evenhandedness (and also in part by avoiding at least two very problematic areas), NSF paints a more mixed picture.
On the positive side, for instance, the report consistently shows that Americans are not so scientifically benighted as one might think, at least in comparison with the rest of the world. We go to science museums more frequently. We claim a higher level of interest in “new scientific discoveries” than citizens in South Korea, China, and many parts of Europe. And in terms of sheer factual knowledge, we perform pretty much on par with Europe, and ahead of other countries like Japan, China, and Russia.
To read the full, original article click on this link: Is the Science Glass Half Full, or Half Empty?