Most people do not feel well-informed about the outputs of research, shows Eurobatometer survey

58% of people feel they are not well-informed about the outputs of publicly-funded science, showed the Special Eurobarometer 401 on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Science and Technology report, released in November 2013. This presents an obstacle to the success Horizon 2020 programme in areas such as healthy ageing, which will rely on public cooperation to reach their objectives.

The study addresses European citizens’ general attitudes towards science and technology: interest and level of information in the area, education in science and technology, sources of information, level of involvement Europeans should have in decisions about science and technology, role of ethics and ethical behaviour in research, open access to research results…etc. It also compares the results to the last survey carried, in 2010.

Other interesting figures provided by the report include:

  • At least half of all Europeans are interested in developments in science and technology (53%), although only 40% say they feel informed about them.
  • Television is the most mentioned source of information about developments in science and technology (65%), followed by the internet (35%) and newspapers (33%).
  • More than half of Europeans believe that when it comes to decisions made about science and technology public dialogue is required (55%).
  • University or government scientists are considered to be the best qualified to explain the impact of scientific or technological developments (66%), with scientists in private laboratories ranking second (35%).
  • Most agree that science has a positive impact on society (77%). The impact of science and technology on quality of life is seen as more positive when the focus is on making life easier, more comfortable and healthier (66%) than it is when only health is considered (50%).
  • 54% agree that the application of science and technology can threaten human rights. At least six out of ten (61%) think that fundamental rights and moral principles should not be violated to make a new scientific or technological discovery. Three quarters (76%) agree the EU should take measures to address the ethical risk of new technologies, with at least six out of ten in each country in agreement.
  • 79% agree that the results of publicly funded research should be available online for free.

The report is available here.

Date: 11/12/2013 | Tag: | News: 210 of 1202
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