Almost one million school children think Professor Green is a scientist, says study
Sunday 28 October 2012
Almost one million school children aged five to 16 think rapper Professor Green is a scientist, according to research.
Children are more familiar with Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook (68% correctly identified him), than physicist Albert Einstein who discovered the theory of relativity (only 45% correctly identified him), the poll by Haier home appliances reveals.
Although one in five children (19%) know and love TV Professor Brian Cox, a large proportion are unable to identify a number of significant, heavyweight names from the world of science and innovation, including Charles Darwin (63% unable to identify), Louis Pasteur (75%), Thomas Edison (62%) and Isaac Newton (61%).
Despite spending an average 17 hours and 34 minutes in front a TV screen every week, almost half (45%) do not know that John Logie Baird invented the television. In fact, a quarter of eight-year-olds think David Cameron invented it (23.83%).
Other key findings from the survey are
:: Around a third five-year-olds (35%) think Boris Johnson discovered gravity
:: Almost a quarter of eight-year-olds (22%) think Stephen Hawking is a hairdresser
:: Around a fifth of seven-year-olds (22%) believe Thomas Edison created Facebook
:: Nearly a tenth of children (8%) think Charles Darwin was a reality TV star
:: Around one in 20 school children (6%) believe The X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos created penicillin.
Around a third of key stage three pupils (35%) do not know that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, despite energy transfer and physical processes being part of the school curriculum.
Jeff Moody, sales and marketing director of Haier Home Appliances UK, said: "It is eye opening to discover that children of today are more aware of popular figures like Mark Zuckerberg than men and women who have made iconic discoveries and inventions that have revolutionised the modern world.
"At Haier, we put science at the very heart of everything we do and we passionately believe the future of innovation lies in the scientific interest and imagination of the next generation."
The research was commissioned as part of Haier's Let Children Dream campaign and supports its partnership with the Science Museum and its children's Create It drawing wall where children are encouraged to dream up and draw their ideas and inventions.
:: Haier surveyed 1,000 children, aged between 5 and 16 on October 8.
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