The recent poll also contrasts with other recent surveys that found Americans notably lacking in awareness of or knowledge about science.*
"That's a terrific increase," said Paul Hanle, president of The Biotechnology Institute, of the new DNA poll. "The challenge now is to take that growing popular interest to the next level, giving kids and adults the tools to deal with complex issues like human cloning, genetically modified food, regenerative medicine, genetic screening, etc."
"With these results and shows like CSI, we don't have to worry so much about getting people's attention any more," said Tom Huff, Vice Provost for Life Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University. "My only question is: is that enough? The tricky part will be finding ways to use that attention to help people take an active part in what really is turning out to be the Century of Life Sciences."
The poll was sponsored by kSERO Corporation, Inc. that creates products that inspire and teach children so that they develop skills needed to participate fully in biology, medicine and life sciences by leveraging advances in cognitive science and linguistics. kSERO Corporation Inc.
For the poll, Harris Interactive interviewed by telephone a nationally representative sample of 1,031 Americans ages 18 or older, between February 6, 2003 to February 9, 2003. Harris used an unrestricted Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that significantly reduces serial bias and ensures that respondents with both listed and unlisted numbers are reached. One interview was conducted per household. To ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the total national adult population, completed interviews were weighted to known proportions for age, gender, geographic region, and race. The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 3.1%.
About kSERO Corporation, Inc.:
kSERO Corporation, Inc. creates products that inspire and teach children so that they develop skills needed to participate fully in biology, medicine and life sciences by leveraging advances in cognitive science and linguistics.
* The National Science Foundation's Science & Engineering Indicators 2000, for example, found, "The majority of the general public knows a little, but not a lot, about S&T [science and technology]." That survey found that only 22% of the public could successfully define molecule; less than half knew that lasers do not focus sound waves; less than half knew that electrons are smaller than atoms, etc.