Jon Miller

Jon MillerFewer Canadians get degrees in science and engineering than the residents of most countries with a comparable standard of living, and fewer Canadians have science and technology jobs, according to a recent study. So it was surprising when the same study showed that Canadians are particularly knowledgeable about science and view it positively, according to an Aug. 28 Globe and Mail article. The report, which compared a survey of Canadians with surveys done in other nations, found that Canada ranks first in scientific literacy, and that Canadians are the least worried about science and its impacts. One explanation for the good showing is that Canadians keep learning about science long after graduation. “It’s not something that you learn in school and put behind you,” said ISR researcher Jon Miller, a member of the Council of Canadian Academies, which issued the report. “Canada has been particularly adept at responding to that notion.” Miller cautioned that science literacy is on the rise broadly, and that Canada’s ranking may depend in part on how recently the survey was done relative to other countries.