Field of Science

Who you are!

Last Thursday I asked 'Who are you?'. Well, a massive 131 of you filled in the survey. Big hand to all of you who took the time to do that, especially those who added comments. Thanks also to all those who wrote a little about themselves in the comments to that post.

Suggestions for future topics are all noted - and special thanks to the one commenter who told me about his love for German cars (you know who you are!).

So, now it's time to reveal... who you really are! Well, you are two-thirds male (one trans-sexual), and nearly 80% of you are aged 18-45 (with a peak in the 26-35 group). You're a well educated bunch. Just over half have a graduate degree, with the the rest split evenly between high school and post-graduate degrees.

Just over half have a scientific background, which means there's a healthy sprinkling of people with other backgrounds, which is great to see. There's some lawyers, IT specialists, philosophers and musicians among you - as well as some self-educated polymaths!

Over two-thirds of you live in North America, with 20% in Europe and 5% Australasia. Not too surprising,  and matches with the usage stats.

But now the killer question: are you a load of atheists or what? Well yes, it turns out that you are. Some 80% are atheists, and 15% agnostic. One Buddhist (is that you, Sabio?), and a few people pointed out that Humanist is a better label (because the atheist label just says what you're not, rather than what you are).

I'm glad to see there are at least a few believers among you!

The most popular articles are ones on psychology, then neuroscience, with sociology coming in a respectable third. More psychology it is then!

I'm kicking myself now because I didn't put a question in about political beliefs. Now that would have been interesting! Maybe one for the 2011 survey.

Creative Commons License This article by Tom Rees was first published on Epiphenom. It is licensed under Creative Commons.


  1. I'll answer the political question for you right away. In my case it is "typical European social democrat". If I were living in the UK I'd probably be voting for the Lib Dems. If it I were in the US, I'd vote for Obama and complain how pro-business he is and how he has failed to get rid of the various excesses of the Bush era. But asking me to walk in a Labour Day March would be too much to ask. We used to have those in Poland and attendance was mandatory.

  2. I'm the Buddhist here.
    I tend to be pragmatic and empirical on questions of science, but I think philosophy (and it's cousin religion) can be helpful on questions of meaning and morals.

  3. The survey was a great idea. I kick myself for not doing the same. Next time...

    Politically I side pretty much with Konrad, though I can walk on Labour Day, just because there's always beer involved. I do like beer, which I think should be another question on the survey next time.

  4. I was Lib Dem until the Lib Dems became Tories then I went off them.

    I'm almost a Buddist :p

  5. I would be willing to bet that most atheists are wishy-washy liberals (I am myself mostly, with forays into hard-line Marxism depending on how many bankers are on the TV screen). I wonder how libertarian people are, though?

    Hi Sam! Yes, I recall now. Although a few people here have Buddhist leanings. I wish there was more research into the role of religious-type philosophies in daily life in the East (or Buddhism in the West, for that matter). There are some similarities, but I suspect also a lot of poorly understood differences (at least, poorly understood by me!).

    Bjorn, I wouldn't use survey monkey again. If you get over 100 responses, they charge £20 - which is pretty steep for something that's only a bit of fun. There are others out there that are totally free.

  6. I'd recommend giving google docs a try. Some recent fun I had with the world cup: form, spreadsheet, summaries also available to owners, and free/no limits.

  7. Yes, Tom, that was me -- the sole Buddhist. I would have chosen "Naturalist" if it was there, perhaps. But you are right, I chose it because it describes me more the undescribes me!

  8. I'm Buddhist too, but answered atheist. No gods or goddesses, no belief in the afterlife: I view Buddhism as closer to an ethic than a religion.


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