Azara Blog: Kids think scientists are brainy

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Date published: 2006/01/20

The BBC says:

Teenagers value the role of science in society but feel scientists are "brainy people not like them", research suggests.

The Science Learning Centre in London asked 11,000 pupils for their views on science and scientists.

Around 70% of the 11-15 year olds questioned said they did not picture scientists as "normal young and attractive men and women".

The research examined why numbers of science exam entries are declining.

Researchers Roni Malek and Fani Stylianidou are completing their research in April but have analysed around half the responses so far.

They found around 80% of pupils thought scientists did "very important work" and 70% thought they worked "creatively and imaginatively". Only 40% said they agreed that scientists did "boring and repetitive work".

Over three quarters of the respondents thought scientists were "really brainy people".

More pointless "research". As usual, surveys ask questions in a specific way and insist on black and white answers in a grey world. But even ignoring that, you have to laugh with the slant the BBC puts on the story. Many kids believe scientists are "brainy people not like them". Well one would certainly hope that scientists are far smarter than the average public (and they are). You might as well be surprised that an average kid thinks that 100m runners are "athletic people not like me" or that priests are "religious people not like me". It's rather a requirement for the job.

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