Schoolchildren unable to identify history’s most influential scientists
Almost one million school children (aged 5 – 16) think rapper Professor Green is a scientist, according to new research by Haier home appliances1.
The poll reveals 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).
Although one in five children (19%) know and love TV Professor Brian Cox, a large proportion are unable to identify a number of significant, heavy weight 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 of 17 hours and 34 minutes in front a TV screen every week2, half (45%) do not know that John Logie Baird invented the television.
Other key findings from the survey include:
* 35% of five-year olds think Boris Johnson discovered gravity
* 22% of eight-year olds think Stephen Hawking is a hairdresser
* 22% of seven-year olds believe Thomas Edison created Facebook
* 8% of children think Charles Darwin was a reality TV star
* 6% of school children believe X Factor judge, Tulisa Constoslavos created penicillin
Over a third (35%) of key stage three pupils 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, comments “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 ongoing 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.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Haier surveyed 1,000 children, aged between 5 and 16 on 08 October 2012
1. Exact number [809,200-the 1 million figure] (age 5-16) weighted according to number of children in compulsory education in the UK (8,092,000). Source: DfE - Education and Training Statistics for the United Kingdom, 2011
2. Source: BARB data 2010, TV consumption for children aged 4-15
The Haier Group is the world’s No. 1 Major Appliances brand with 7.8% retail volume share in 2011 (Source: Euromonitor International Limited; retail volume sales in units based on 2011 data). With its commitment to quality and innovation, Haier brings the inspired living experience to consumers in over 165 countries worldwide. With group global headquarters based in the Chinese city of Qingdao, Haier has regional headquarters in both Paris and New York, serving its clients in Europe and America. Haier has 61 trading companies, 29 manufacturing plants, 8 design centres and 16 industrial parks with 70,000 employees worldwide. Haier specialises in technology-led research, manufacturing and trading a large range of durable products - within Europe these include: televisions, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, consumer electronics and energy saving home solutions.
Haier’s global revenue in 2011 was 23.3 billion USD. Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd. (HKG: 1169), a subsidiary of the Haier Group, is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Qingdao Haier Co. (SHA: 600690), also a Haier subsidiary, is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
About the Science Museum:
The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise.