Nation & World News

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

By Scott Neuman on February 14th, 2014

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF in 2012 and released on Friday at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

As alarming as some of those deficits in science knowledge might appear, Americans fared better on several of the questions than similar, but older surveys of their Chinese and European counterparts.

Only 66 percent of people in a 2005 European Union poll answered the basic astronomy answer correctly. However, both China and the EU fared significantly better (66 percent and 70 percent, respectively) on the question about human evolution.

In a survey compiled by the National Opinion Research Center from various sources, Americans seemed to generally support science research and expressed the greatest interest in new medical discoveries and local school issues related to science. They were least interested in space exploration, agricultural developments and international and foreign policy issues related to science.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after defeating the Kansas City Royals to win game seven of the 2014 World Series.

Is It Too Early To Call Madison Bumgarner A Legend?

The San Francisco Giants’ pitcher delivered a performance for the ages Wednesday night. And the sports world just can’t stop talking about it.


Eric Frein, Suspect Wanted In Shooting Death Of Trooper, In Custody

Police say Frein opened fire on two state troopers at the Pocono Mountains more than a month ago. He was described as a survivalist.


In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a former Red Cross official says, as many as 40 percent of the organization's emergency vehicles were assigned for public relations purposes. This photo, which shows one of the trucks on Long Island, N.Y., in January 2013, is one example of the many publicity photos taken by the Red Cross.

Red Cross Responds To NPR/ProPublica Report On Storm Response Inefficiencies

An NPR investigation revealed how the emergency organization funneled its resources away from storm victims to create an “illusion of mass care.” The Red Cross tells PBS NewsHour that’s not true.


Sweden Recognizes Palestine, Drawing Sharp Israeli Criticism

Israel’s foreign minister says diplomacy is “more complicated than … furniture from Ikea.” His Swedish counterpart responds that diplomacy, like Ikea furniture, needs “a partner … [and] a manual.”


A 2009 photo of Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who served for 20 years before stepping down this year. He died on Thursday.

Thomas Menino, Boston’s Longest-Serving Mayor, Dies At 71

Described as a hard-nosed, old-school pragmatist, he was diagnosed with cancer shortly after leaving office in January.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments