What's going on with science careers?

Hello! Did you know that only 28% of teens wanted to go into a science related career.most teens want to go into fashion or sports. the learned society and professional created a poll and this is what they found out. Diana Garnham , the council's chief executive said: this "Research high lights the huge misperception about what studying sciences can lead to." Check out the English Funding Council poll results for yourself.

(Link edited by Liza @4:20pm on Tuesday, 11/18/08)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

ASHL3Y SHANA311's picture
ASHL3Y SHANA311 says:

this is actually my post but my posting doesn't work so i used zoua's tell me your thoughts on this and post a comment .

posted on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 5:22pm
plee057's picture
plee057 says:

I didn't know that. Interesting........

posted on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 5:28pm
Jennifershrader's picture
Jennifershrader says:

Scientific American just launched a large Science Jobs channel:

Saw it on the news.

posted on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 2:26pm
Dr. Jim Powers's picture

Teens wanting a career in either sports or fashion is somewhat expected. They will normally want to be in an industry that they perceive is glamorous and will make them popular. As for interest in science, I guess it's the perception that science can give answer to a lot of things and can unlock mysteries of the world. That can look pretty interesting to young dreamers.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 3:28pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

wanting a career in sports or fashion is what many kids want as it's a well-known way, for some anyway, to make a ton of money, but not even close to being the only way.

more glamorous? without a doubt! when was the last time that jonas salk or albert einstein or louis pasteur or any other famous scientists considered glamorous? even though they're more of a difference maker than entertainers are. it doesn't help at all that there's still a negative stigma attached to being intelligent, anyone recall the 'revenge of the nerds' movies? unfortunately, being intelligent isn't always considered cool. more recently, there was a satire called 'idiocracy', which was a futuristic look at society, but had the same message- being smart STILL wasn't cool.

i have a friend that majored in science and now works on cancer-treatment equipment in hospitals, making really good money.

if more knew about the good money that can be made in a science-related career, more would want to try it.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 3:58pm
bryan kennedy's picture

OK, science does have some rather dowdy heroes but let us also acknowledge some of these "glamorous" science folk:

Jacques-Yves Cousteau - This dude was a big hero of mine during my youth. Nerdy?! No way. Dude wears sunglasses, has an awesome tan, and goes scuba diving all over the world.

Kari Byron - Don't get me started on Kari Byron...drool. One of the hosts of the show Mythbusters rocks it with style.

Richard Feynman - Dreamy super brain. I know quite a few folks who admire him for more than his breakthroughs in quantum mechanics. He even looks cute in his ID photo.

Gwendolen Rees - Glamorous parasitologist

Jeannette Piccard - First woman in space, BY BALLOON!!

OK, I'll post more as I think of 'em.

posted on Fri, 11/21/2008 - 1:12pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

In 1997, paleontologist Paul Sereno was named one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people. Travelling around the globe; visiting exotic, remote locations; discovering new species of dinosaurs -- that's the life!

posted on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 12:47am
samanthapha's picture

What Are you Trying to say about the poll?
it seems like it doesn't work because it took me to a different website.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 5:03pm
Jack's picture
Jack says:

Yeah, the link is dead, or maybe it's the wrong URL.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 5:13pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I just fixed it. Thanks for calling it to someone's attention.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 5:22pm
Jack's picture
Jack says:

Personally, I love science and I would really like to pursue a career in science, but maybe this is just due to the fact that my parents have science careers. I don't see much negative stigma against intelligence, but there is something of a lack of interest in science, engineering, and math generally, unlike countries such as China. These fields are vitally important to the economy, and the United States is currently using immigration to supply a substantial section of its engineer needs. While these facts probably aren't going to convince any teens, if teachers showed the sheer awesomeness of science and math more, students will probably get much more interested in science careers.

posted on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 5:12pm
Andy Sedgwick's picture

A career in science is not as profitable as in business or consumer relations. At least that's the general perception among a lot of people

posted on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 6:14pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

i see backlash against intelligence all the time, meaning there is still a negative stigma attached to it.
best example? where we live! i have some friends that live outside minnesota and they hear 'twin cities' and automatically ask 'minneapolis?' and i have to remind them that there's a reason why it's called the 'twin' cities
- how we also have st. paul. this would be considered 'dumbing down' as many only think of the larger city, for whatever reason, but often due to the news media only showing minneapolis on something like a weather map.
i've seen a few ads- one of them road-sign billboards- put up in st. paul that had to be changed as they said 'minneapolis'- and insult to those who live in the 'forgotten' twin city. which shouldn't be forgotten at all when it's the capital city.
then i've met those who accuse me of being a know-it-all just because they don't know the same fact, even though it was a common fact like minnesota's nhl team back in 1992 was the north stars, NOT the wild.
and terms like 'geek' and 'nerd' are still considered derogatory, as they're directed at the intelligent.
it's called 'tyranny of the majority' as the intelligent are still a minority.

posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 12:23pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I live in St. Paul, and this is news to me. I always sort of assumed that we were a suburb of Minneapolis.

posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 12:51pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

To call St. Paul a suburb of Minneapolis is an insult -- to real suburbs. ;-)

But seriously, I don't think a focus on Minneapolis is necessarily a sign of low intelligence. Well, OK, I do, but not as compared to a focus on St. Paul. Of course people are going to focus on the larger city -- there's more there! If you want people to know you live in St. Paul, tell them. If you say "I live in the Twin Cities," you're pretty much forcing them to guess which one. And of course they're going to guess the larger one, as that is more likely to be correct.

Pretty smart, I must say.

posted on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 7:45pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

only needed to see some family over the holiday to find yet another example of the 'dumbing down' of things, proving intelligence is often not valued. again, it is about where we live, minnesota.
i had somebody ask me about our governor's race, i told them it wasn't up for election. they asked me about al franken, i told them that was the senate race. and they couldn't even name his opponent, norm coleman, even though coleman is the INCUMBENT! they just called coleman 'the other guy'.
and why did they even ask? because franken is an entertainer running for office. same person thought that wrestler', jesse ventura, still was governor.
and they could name what franken had done as an entertainer, but seemed to be unaware that he has never held political office. when one can only talk about entertainers in a halfway-intelligent fashion, that is a sign of dumbing down. i've met people all the time that are like this, all they do is worship celebrities. and i get bored when all they want to talk about is sports and movies, because i can talk about more than just those subjects.

posted on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 1:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

That's not so much dumbing-down as just being uninformed. "Dumbing down" usually means "oversimplifying," often to the point of being misleading or inaccurate.

Being uninformed or uninterested is not the same as being unintelligent, though I will grant that the substantive differences are minimal.

posted on Sat, 12/06/2008 - 9:54pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

discussing semantics again. and the best way to describe something is to call it 'dumbed down' when one can only name one of the 2 candidates running for political office, and the 1 they can name happens to be an entertainer that has never held political office. especially when they couldn't even remember the correct political office they were running for.
it was no different when fred grandy, gopher from 'love boat', was an iowa congressman.

posted on Wed, 12/10/2008 - 6:05pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Sorry, that is not correct. "Dumbing down" means "over-simplifcation." You are using it to mean "ignorant, uninformed." This is not a semantic distinction; it is a mistake. Ignorance may be the end result of dumbed-down content (though it can also stem from other sources), but cause is not the same as effect.

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 1:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

intelligence should NOT be about being "cool" or uncool. and i hope it never becomes something so valueless as to be associated with cool/uncool social things (even though science is amazing and mind-blowing in it of itself!).
intelligence is just trying to understand the things that are around you and how they work in the best way you know a human being. adding the stigmas and coolness affects is just trying to taylor intelligence to the "popular" mass. meaning i hope people go into science-related fields because they enjoy it,not because it is the newest "in" thing.

the whole st. paul thing, oh please. yeah, so you just discovered that minneapolis is the larger city of the two, and apparently the more well known one too(mpls airport is international). it is not stupidity, ok. its just that when one grows up in st. paul and is taught that st. paul is the capital, one assumes st. paul is the bigger city and more well now that you've grown up a little and learned new things, does it make the old things dumbing it down? inaccurate assumptions doesnt equal stupidity. it is not dumbing it down to call it twin cities...the cities are so close to each other, duh, read a little of minnesota's history.

posted on Wed, 12/10/2008 - 7:17pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The same is true of any big city. My older brother lives in Lemont, Illinois. My younger brother lives in Schaumburg. I have aunts and uncles in Mundelein, Northbrook and Des Plaines. But if someone from out of town asks where they live, they all say "Chicago." The towns I mentioned are suburbs of the bigger city. We cannot reasonably expect someone from outside the six-county area to be familiar with every little hamlet. So "Chicago" becomes shorthand for the greater metropolitan area. When talking to someone from the city, however, they will name their town, since it can be safely assumed the other person will have heard of it.

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 1:50pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

anonymous, i grew up outside minnesota, hence the name 'iowaboy'. so i have a different perspective when i meet people and they first say 'minneapolis' almost automatically in response to hearing 'twin cities'. when there are many times it is referred to as 'minneapolis-st. paul'. even our sports teams are called 'minnesota', even though most of them play in minneapolis, to avoid offending people in st. paul.
anyone see news coverage about the republican convention? i sure did! bob schieffer of cbs news knew what it was like to grow up in a usually 'forgotten' city, having grown up in ft. worth,texas, forgotten since dallas is larger. he asked st. paul people to write poetry about what st. paul has to offer. ask people in st. petersburg, florida, what it's like, being forgotten usually in favor of tampa, especially when their sports teams are called 'tampa bay', the name of the bay there.

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 3:01pm
iowaboy's picture
iowaboy says:

gene, i used to live in illinois, and i always said i lived in 'suburban chicago' because that was accurate. and i met people while at university who happened to live in the city of chicago, NOT a suburb, and they said very specifically up-front they live in 'city of'. because they were annoyed with suburbanites calling themselves 'chicagoans' when they weren't. so if we want to talk semantics and oversimplification and dumbing down, this would be an example of 'personal preference' on how people identify themselves, in terms of where they live. unfortunately, people usually can't agree on what is correct, so usually anything goes.
and, alas, not everything is black and white, but sometimes a subtle shade of gray. i know this from studying the french language and see how they translate subtitled movies, more often than not it is the 'loose' translation, which is close enough, as opposed to the 'literal' translation, which you seem to prefer, and why you feel the need to carry on these arguments and trying to correct me, thinking your answer is the only one, when there's usually more than one.
i would expect it to be no different when tranlsating form other languages besides french, where there is more than one correct answer.
it proves what this article is all about, why many kids aren't interested in science, because it isn't easy like other professions are. it's just easier to let the news media decide for us what is important enough to care about, even 'the simpsons' lampooned this in at least one episode. when a volcano erupted, a news reporter had to fill in for another who was off covering a celebrity gossip story. and let's face it, celebrity gossip isn't 'real news', even if it's demand and may get ratings. again, celebrity worship- being an entertainer- is considered to be more glamorous than being in science.

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 3:14pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Yes, as I noted, when people from the Chicago area are speaking to other people from the Chicago area, they will be more specific than when speaking with someone unfamiliar with the terrain.

This is a simplification. Whether it is an oversimplification would, I suspect, be a matter of personal opinion. I don't think it can fairly be labeled "ignorance."

There is loose translation, and there is mistranslation. You have been incorrectly defining "dumbing down" as synonymous with "ignorant, uninformed, uninterested." It is not.

posted on Sun, 12/14/2008 - 7:52pm
DO's picture
DO says:

28% sounds like a high number to me although "science" can cover a lot of areas. By way of comparison, what per cent of careers in the US involve science? Higher or lower than 28%?

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 3:39pm
jimh's picture
jimh says:

DO makes a good point. Science and technology is involved in a lot of careers to a varying extent. Science doesn't always mean working in a lab. Science and technology will be a growing part of more careers in the future. What is the percentage of "science careers" in the U.S., I wonder. Who and what defines this category?

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:15pm
DO's picture
DO says:

The per cent would be on the US Census page. Can't get there from this computer.

posted on Fri, 12/12/2008 - 5:39pm

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options