Thursday, April 15, 2010

Measuring Science Knowledge:
A Controversy? Wow

Here's an interesting post that criticizes a broader measure of what people know about science because it apparently eliminated questions about evolution and Big Bang theory.
NCSE's Joshua Rosenau decried the decision, saying, "Discussing American science literacy without mentioning evolution is intellectual malpractice ... It downplays the controversy." Also reportedly dismayed by the decision was the White House. "The Administration counts on the National Science Board to provide the fairest and most complete reporting of the facts they track," Rick Weiss, a spokesperson and analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, told Science.
No real surprise.  Like it or love it, the Bush administration was never particularly evenhanded when it came to science. 

But . . . it's more complicated than bad guy conservatives trying to hide good science.  As George Bishop, a survey guy of some repute, says in a quote from the posting above, the wording of the questions often are better measures of belief than knowledge.

A pdf of the missing section is here.  I will explore the report in more detail tomorrow, because it's fascinating stuff in comparing what Americans know versus others about science.

No comments: