Can you name a scientist? Not too many Americans can, it turns out.


Some hard science-related news for you now. Try this: name a scientist. Go ahead, name one, any one. If you’re like me the first name that pops into your head is Bill Nye or Michio Kaku. And if you’re also like me you can name several others. The average American? Not so much. USA Today ran a little poll a few days ago asking Americans to name a scientist, and a whopping 23 percent of respondents couldn’t name one. That’s right: 23 percent of the people USA Today asked couldn’t name a single scientist, living or dead, famous or obscure. And only 47 percent could so much as muster the name “Albert Einstein”! What person, let alone American, couldn’t come up with the name “Albert Einstein”?

The full results of the poll are as follows. When asked to name a scientist, these names were uttered with the corresponding frequency:

47 percent named Albert Einstein
23 percent could not name anyone
6 percent named Marie Curie
4 percent named Louis Pasteur
4 percent named Thomas Edison

I would imagine that you guys would be able to come up with more than one name, being fans of tech and all. The fact that Nikola Tesla isn’t even on that list is terribly disappointing, but not necessarily shocking. To me, there just seems to be a general lack of interest in science in this country. The average Joe would rather watch “Dance Your Ass Off” than read a book about the creation of the atomic bomb, or watch a documentary on genetics or whatever.

Who wants to help me found a real lifeCity of Rapture?