Science magazine: “Americans may know more than you think about science”. Looking at a more expansive view of knowledge that tries to get at how people actually process knowledge into action. But there’s “bad news” – people may know plenty about science, but this doesn’t make them support spending a lot of public money on new scientific research:
But the bad news is that researchers may have misled policymakers and educators about the connection between literacy and support for science. “Available research does not support the claim that increasing science literacy will lead to appreciably greater support for science in general,” the report concludes. Scientists are partly to blame for that misconception, it adds, because the metrics they typically use to assess literacy “are only weakly correlated” with how people behave.
This is related to the “deficit model” for science communication; the idea that people will support the same policies supported by scientists if the people only know enough about science.