Special Eurobarometer 224 “Europeans, Science and Technology”

I find this fascinating:  In the survey, a quiz was presented to respondents in order to test the knowledge on
science and technology. The test subjects were citizens of EU.


see especially pages 41-44

Results of this quiz show that for most statements a majority of citizens in the
European Union answered correctly, which allows us to conclude that Europeans have
a good knowledge of scientific topics.

Here are the quiz statements
(T= true; F= false, DK= do not know/not answer)

1. The Sun goes around the Earth (F) 29% 66% 4%
2. The centre of the Earth is very hot (T) 86% 7% 7%
3. The oxygen we breathe comes from plants (T) 82% 14% 4%
4. Radioactive milk can be made safe by boiling it
(F) 10% 75% 15%
5. Electrons are smaller than atoms (T) 46% 29% 25%
6. The continents on which we live have been
moving for millions of years and will continue to
move in the future (T)
87% 6% 8%
7. It is the mother’s genes that decide whether
the baby is a boy or a girl (F) 20% 64% 16%
8. The earliest humans lived at the same time as
the dinosaurs (F) 23% 66% 11%
9. Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria (F) 43% 46% 11%
10. Lasers work by focusing sound waves (F) 26% 47% 28%
11. All radioactivity is man-made (F) 27% 59% 14%
12. Human beings, as we know them today,
developed from earlier species of animals (T) 70% 20% 10%
13. It takes one month for the Earth to go around
the Sun (F) 17% 66% 16%

However for three statements only a relative majority of respondents was able to
indicate the correct answer.
“Electrons are smaller than atoms”: while 46% indicate the correct answer, we
must note over one in four respondents (29%) give the wrong answer and another
25% don’t know or refuse to answer.
“Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria”: Again, 46% answer correctly.
However, for this statement another 43% give the wrong answer, which clearly
indicates a lack of knowledge in this domain.
“Lasers work by focusing sound waves”: For this statement, 47% give the correct
answer, while 26% answer incorrectly. Another 28% don’t know or refuse to answer.