Great Public Interest and Confidence in Science

30.11.2007
A clear majority of Finns (63 %) are interested in science, research and technology, and approximately 70 % of the Swedes have strong confidence in science. These are some of the uplifting results expressed by the Finnish and Swedish science barometers, published in November 2007. Eurobarometers on science 2005 show similar results for the other Nordic countries.
Interest and Optimism
The Finnish Science Barometer 2007 was conducted by Tieteen tiedotus ry, and published 13 November 2007.

The results show that science’s public image and relationship with Finnish society are in good shape. Attitudes toward scientific ethics and morals are also positive and have improved significantly since the beginning of the 2000s.

The Finns surveyed felt that the most interesting fields were research on the environment, medicine and scientific progress, new results and inventions. Each of these fields was of interest to approximately 70% of the Finns surveyed, whilst only one out of every four Finns was interested in science policy.

Medicine, science and technique are “popular” disciplines also among the Swedes. Only one out of three thinks science and technique are so complicated subject fields that they are inaccessible to the man in the street. The Eurobarometers on science and technology from 2005 confirms this common science interest: almost 90 % of the Swedish population are interested in news on research results and innovations. The figures for the other Nordic countries are approximately the same. Medicine is regarded “the most scientific” of all scientific disciplines, according to the Swedish 2007 survey.

The Swedes also express expectations and technology optimism: Almost seven out of ten believe that research can make valuable contributions in the fight against climate change.

The Swedish report Allmänhetens syn på Vetenskap 2007 was conducted by Vetenskap och Allmänhet, and was published in November 2007.

Hunger for Science
The most common sources of scientific information are the media, Internet and information networks, place of employment and education, and general periodicals, according to the Finnish survey. As much as three-quarters of Finns want the media to provide more information on science.

In 2005 approximately 75 % of the population in the Nordic region regularly or now and then read articles about science in the papers, in periodicals or on the Internet. Danish readers read science related articles on a slightly more irregular basis, than the informants from the other Nordic countries. The corresponding EU figures were 60 %.

Read more about the Finnish Science Barometer 2007 on The Academy of Finland‘s website.

Download the Swedish survey and the 2005 Eurobarometers on science from Vetenskap och Allmänhet.



(www.aka.fi/ Vetenskap och Allmänhet)
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