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The Sun and Science

Though many people in the US may not have a firm grasp of science, they do hold scientists in high regard, LiveScience says.

The 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators report from the US National Science Foundation, examines the state of science education, research, and industry.

As NPR notes, it found that 26 percent of the 2,200 Americans surveyed did not answer correctly when asked whether the sun went around the Earth or vice versa. "[A]bout a quarter of American adults evidently have been left behind by the Copernican revolution," writes Tom Yulsman at ImaGeo.

Additionally, 48 percent knew that people developed from earlier species of animals and slightly more than half knew that antibiotics aren't effective against viruses, NPR adds.

Still, LiveScience notes that 90 percent of survey respondents say the benefits of science outweigh its possible dangers.

"It's important for Americans to maintain a high regard for science and scientists," says John Besley, an associate professor at Michigan State University and lead author of report chapter on public perceptions of science, in a statement. "It can help ensure funding and help attract future scientists."

Only a third of the survey respondents, though, said science and technology should get more funding, LiveScience points out.