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From Slate (HT: Marginal Revolutions):

The world of scientists remains distant and bizarre to most Americans. Only 18 percent of Americans know a scientist personally, according to a 2005 survey (subscription required), and when asked in 2007 to name scientific “role models,” the results were dismal. Forty-four percent of Americans couldn’t come up with a name at all, and among those few who did, their top answers were either not scientists or not alive: Bill Gates, Al Gore, Albert Einstein.

Its a tragedy that, despite living in a society that depends so much on science and technology for its wealth and position in the world, there are a surprising number of Americans who pay it little attention and an even larger group of people who seem woefully uneducated about it.

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