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Strangers in the Lab

Albert Einstein.

Few working scientists are as iconic as, say, Einstein.

Yesterday the New York Times invited readers to take a multiple-choice quiz to identify famous scientists based solely on their portraits. Many CHF staff members were shocked to see their abysmal scores. I managed to only name 6/10—and I guessed on a couple. Other colleagues came in with 4s and 5s. (Chemical Heritage magazine's editor-in-chief managed to earn the organization's only perfect ten after guessing on one item.) 

All of us work for a history of science organization. We keep up-to-date on science journals, read science blogs, listen to science podcasts. If our scores are this low, how does the general public fare?

According to the accompanying article, one informal survey revealed only 4% of those polled could name a living scientist. 4%! Compare to how many Americans can easily name an athlete or musician or movie star. 

Take the quiz yourself and let us know your results. 

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