This falls into the category of, "Wow, I didn't know that!"1. According to a press release from Michigan State University: College Science Requirements Keep US Ahead Of World, Researcher Argues ...
Despite frequent warnings of the inadequacy of education in the United States, citizens here are still among the world's most scientifically literate, a Michigan State University researcher said.Who would 'av thunk it? American are better at critical scientific reasoning because there are more science-receptive citizens. And it even extends to the law.
You can thank those general education requirements that force English majors to sit through biology classes and budding engineers to read Hemingway, Jon Miller said.
Fifty years after English novelist and physicist C.P. Snow warned of a disturbing lack of scientific literacy among the cultural elite and a parallel literary void among Britain's scientists and technologists, little has changed in most of the world, Miller argued. And that's part of what keeps the U.S. at the forefront of scientific endeavor and technological innovation.
"What makes the American market and society different," he said, "is that we have more science- and technology-receptive citizens and consumers, and as a society we're willing to spend money for basic science and have been doing that for years."
Americans as a group tend to be more open-minded about innovations such as genetically modified food, he said. Scientific reasoning also works its way into such disciplines as law, he noted, where facts are routinely marshaled to support or disprove theories.
I guess that's why American courts spend so much time trying to keep superstition out of the science classroom.
1. Personally, I don't think there's all that much difference between science literacy in the USA and other Westeren industrialized nations. However, the idea that the USA is actually superior to other nations does strain belief, somewhat.