Americans lacking science savvy, survey finds

USA Today reports on a new survey from Harris Interactive:

Seventy-six percent of Americans say presidential candidates should make improving science education a national priority, according to a national Harris Interactive survey of 1,304 adults in November and December. Results were released this spring.

But only 26% believe that they themselves have a good understanding of science. And 44% couldn’t identify a single scientist, living or dead, whom they’d consider a role model for the nation’s young people.

These results are disturbing, science education experts say, because scientists aren’t the only ones who must distinguish solid scientific methods from bogus ones. Some important scientific questions are being debated this year, including food safety, imported-product safety and the effect of biofuels.

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