That well known Cowboy State.

My husband (a teacher) recently told me all about a survey conducted recently in America about people’s awareness of science.  It seems the report was damning:

  • Only 53% of adults know how long it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun.
  • Only 59% of adults know that the earliest humans and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.
  • Only 47% of adults can roughly approximate the percent of the Earth’s surface that is covered with water.

(If you want to see the full report you’ll find it here: Science Daily Summary )

I (like him) was shocked that so few people understood basic science and together we smugly said “the UK must be better then that”.

And so – it came as quite a shock when I walked into my local fancy dress shop to obtain a jockey costume for the next murder mystery at Doncaster Racecourse and heard the following:

Girl in changing rooms (getting dressed as a cowgirl): Where is it cowboys come from again?

Shop assistant: Somewhere in America.

Girl in changing rooms: It’s one of those states isn’t it… which one was it again?

Shop assistant: Tennessee I think.

Girl in changing rooms: Tennessee… yeah, that’ll be right, but there’s another isn’t there…?

Shop assistant:  Tennessee and… Canada isn’t it?

Girl in changing rooms: Canada.  Yeah!  Thats the one!

Canada!  Canada?!  Oh dear!  We might do better at Science in the UK – but clearly our geography is distinctly lacking!


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