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Basic science knowledge

The country's schools appear to have given their students a solid grounding in science facts, according to an international study.

In a world-wide comparison of basic science knowledge, Australians outscored all other countries, including Britain, Germany, Japan and the United States.

An investigation by Australia's Bureau of Industry Economics into science awareness and understanding found that three out of four Australians have a grasp of basic probability, that almost the same proportion know the earth revolves around the sun and that nearly nine out 10 correctly believe the centre of the earth is hot.

Using 10 common questions as an indicator (electrons are smaller than atoms - true or false?), Australians were first among the advanced nations with an average score of 61 out of 100.

The United Kingdom came out with 56, America averaged 53, Germany 51 and Japan (answering six questions) scored 45.

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