Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scientific Literacy

Canadians do well, insists Canadian study, in scientific literacy.

The study itself didn't do so well, at least in methodological literacy. Here's the telling graf from the story linked to above:
The data was not all conducted at the same time. The data on Japan was collected in 2001, the European data in 2005, and as science literacy has been increasing generally all over the world in the past decade, these rankings may not be perfect, said Arthur Carty, chair of an expert panel involved in the report and executive director of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.
To really do this kind of study you need the same kinds of questions asked of people across countries at the same time.  To compare results from 2014 to 2001 is unfair and, to be honest, the kind of thing that would get a study rejected by even a low-tier academic journal.

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