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Canada Education Science

Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries 221

An anonymous reader writes "A recent survey of scientific education and attitudes showed the Canadian population to have the highest level of scientific literacy in the world, as well as the fewest reservations about the direction of scientific progress (full report). A key factor is a high level of scientific knowledge among the general population (despite comparatively low numbers of people employed in STEM fields). Another is a higher level of comfort with choosing rationality over religious belief — only 25% of Canadians surveyed agreed with the statement "We depend too much on science and not enough on faith", as opposed to 55% in the U.S. and 38% in the E.U.

I also wonder if the vaunted Canadian healthcare system plays a role. When advances in medical science are something you automatically expect to benefit from personally if you need them, they look a lot better than when you have to scramble just to cover your bills for what we have now."
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Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

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  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:25PM (#47780095)

    They think maple syrup grows on trees!

    No they don't. It grows IN trees not on them; that's why you need to install a tap.

  • by jblb ( 2639331 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:28PM (#47780105)
    The current regime seems pretty anti-science though, unless it is directly related to increasing tar sands oil extraction efficiency? [] []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:45PM (#47780263)

    Stephen Harper fits that bill... as do a number of people in his cabinet.

    Stuff like that tends to float to the top.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Thursday August 28, 2014 @08:06PM (#47780393)

    They say

    I also wonder if the vaunted Canadian healthcare system plays a role. When advances in medical science are something you automatically expect to benefit from personally if you need them, they look a lot better than when you have to scramble just to cover your bills for what we have now.

    but it sounds as if they're comparing the Canadian system for paying for health care with the US system, as opposed to the systems used in for example, Western Europe.

  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @08:33PM (#47780597)

    That man ordered irreplaceable scientific records be taken to the dump, destroying generations of scientific data. He's closed musea in order to build up fake War of 1812 war memorials. He's closed the scientific lakes project that was the programme responsible for identifying acid rain thanks to decades of data.

    This man has been utterly destructive to Canada's intellectual property, its scientific pedigree and ability to generate new knowledge. Moreover, he's gagged scientists from discussing their own peer-revirewed data. Instead, political interns get to act as mouthpieces.

    Anyone in the scientific or technical community can't help but see how destructive Harper-ism is to Canada's ability to create the next generation of knowledge.

  • Re:Biased (Score:5, Informative)

    by radtea ( 464814 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @08:57PM (#47780761)

    The clincher for me - which indisputably shows the authors' bias - is that Canada ranks #1 in people protesting GMOs and nuclear power, and the authors consider this a good sign that their population is scientifically literate!

    The report says nothing of the kind. Did you read it? GMOs and nuclear power are mentioned as divisive issues, but there is no data on the ranking of people against them.

    The Globe and Mail article says, "Canadians also expressed the lowest level of reservation about science and its impacts. Compared with the U.S., Europe and Japan, far fewer Canadians said that they thought science is making our way of life change too fast."

    Sounds about right.

    Canadians are generally very aware that our lives would be miserable if it weren't for science and technology keeping us safe and warm and fed. We have our tree-hugging reactionaries, of course, but they have far less influence than you might think despite the vast amounts of noise (and I do mean "noise" in the information theoretic sense) they generate.

  • Re:Biased (Score:5, Informative)

    by CanadianRealist ( 1258974 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @09:15PM (#47780871)

    The linked article is not very clear. There's much better coverage on the CBC site. []

    The study considered two different things, scientific literacy, and level of reservations towards science.

    The "we depend too much on science..." was from the second part - about reservations towards science.

    The science literacy part asked questions like:
    Does the sun go around the earth or does the earth go around the sun?
    Human beings as we know them today developed from earlier species of animals. True or false?
    Electrons are smaller than atoms. True or false?

  • by CanadianRealist ( 1258974 ) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @09:34PM (#47780991)

    I live near the border and I can see all the wealthy Canadians bypass the socialized system by coming down here with cash.

    Now look across the border and see the non wealthy Canadians who still get treated* without going bankrupt just because they got sick. Who don't have to worry about what a trip to the doctor will cost when they need treatment. (*Get treated, including preventative care, without having to wait until problems become serious enough to justify a trip to the emergency room.)

    The US health care system may be really good for the wealthy, but it really is not so good for the non wealthy people who can't afford it. We socialist Canadians think everyone should have health care.

  • by Layzej ( 1976930 ) on Friday August 29, 2014 @10:14AM (#47784143)
    This may depend on which province you live in. We certainly don't have $7 daycare where I live. Closer to $45. I believe in Quebec it is covered entirely by the province.
  • Re:ROLF! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Phisbut ( 761268 ) on Friday August 29, 2014 @11:15AM (#47784625)

    " the vaunted Canadian healthcare system"

    - 17 hour average wait time in the Emergency Room

    While I can't argue with you about the other ones, this one here is utter bullshit. If you stumble into the Emergency Room with an emergency, you will be treated accordingly. What people complain about is having to wait 17 hours in the ER because they sprained an ankle.

    On one occasion, I ended up in the ER with a life-threatening acute heart condition. I was brought in an ambulance, and the doctor was actually waiting for me rather than me waiting for him... that's like negative wait time. On a second occasion (not so long after the first episode), I also had heart troubles but I managed to get to the ER on my own, and the nurse that does the triage sent me right into a room where a doctor arrived within 2 minutes. That is what the emergency room is about. Emergencies.

    The fact that people end up in the ER for very trivial stuff is a symptom of a system that is utterly broken in many other ways (lack of family doctors, long waiting lists for specialists, and so on), but the ER itself is the one thing in the whole system that works exactly as intended, but it receives too much undeserved flak because that's what the population actually see, while they do not understand the failings of the bigger system above it.

    Two trips to the ER which saved my life, a heart surgery that stabilized my condition, allows me a high quality of life and lets me contribute to society, all that without paying a dime. That is what the vaunted Canadian healthcare system is all about. By getting me back on my feet as a productive member of society, I have already paid back way more in income tax and other fiscal contributions than what the whole ordeal could have cost, so it is a net gain for society.

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