Culture & Entertainment

How science literate are you?

By: Stephanie Zolis
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

How science literate are you?

By: Stephanie Zolis
Science was my least favourite subject in school. I remember skipping classes to avoid dissecting frogs and crawfish and to avoid missing out on my friends’ free period. I barely passed Grade 10 and bid adieu to biology. And yet I find myself deciphering scientific studies and articles on a weekly basis. Turns out, I, like 93 percent of Canadians, have an interest in scientific discoveries and technological developments. In a report from the Canadian Council of Academies that looked at the scientific literacy of 35 countries, Canada ranked number one in interest in such discoveries. CoCA National Percentages InfographicThe publication, “ Science Culture: Where Canada Stands,” also reveals that Canadians are the most science-literate population out of those studied. We were more likely than others to accurately answer questions like “Does the sun go around the Earth or does the Earth go around the sun?” and true-or-false statements like “Electrons are smaller than atoms.” The Canadian population was found to exhibit “a sufficient level of science knowledge to grasp basic scientific concepts and understand general media coverage of scientific and technological issues,” according to the council . That being said, we shouldn’t start gloating just yet. Our science literacy rate was a mere 42 percent, meaning only four out of 10 Canadians gave the right answer to many of these questions. But compared to countries like Sweden (35 percent) and the U.S. (29 percent), Canada’s science literacy isn’t so bad. However, there is work to be done. We lack in some areas, like Programme for International Study Assessment exam scores, science degrees awarded and total science and technology occupations held. Improving our nation's scientific aptitude starts in the classroom. To ensure your child measures up to international rankings, prepare him or her for back-to-school. Infographic courtesy Council of Canadian Academies
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How science literate are you?

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