This study was conducted in 2002-2004 among government officers who work closely with the general public in the areas of agricultural biotechnology and medical biotechnology, particularly in regional areas of Thailand. The results indicate that even though the majority of the government officers in this study acknowledge that public awareness of biotechnology is very important, their knowledge of biotechnology is slight. They have commented on the problem of not having enough information themselves to be of assistance to the public. Problems about lack of networks between the government organizations, which lead to problems of availability and accessibility to the sources of information, and the lacking of professional training, were also raised. This study has indicated that the first priority in the mission of raising the public awareness of science is to improve the competencies of the government officers in their awareness of important science issues. It has underlined an urgent need of a more proactive approach to bridge the gap between scientists and other government officers to help in raising science awareness and competencies among the government officers in order that they can consecutively and successfully complete their mission in raising the public awareness of science and technology.

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Government officers and the public awareness of science in Thailand
A case study on biotechnology

Aphiya Hathayatham   National Science Museum, Thailand

This study was conducted in 2002-2004 among government officers who work closely with the general public in the areas of agricultural biotechnology and medical biotechnology, particularly in regional areas of Thailand. The results indicate that even though the majority of the government officers in this study acknowledge that public awareness of biotechnology is very important, their knowledge of biotechnology is slight. They have commented on the problem of not having enough information themselves to be of assistance to the public. Problems about lack of networks between the government organizations, which lead to problems of availability and accessibility to the sources of information, and the lacking of professional training, were also raised. This study has indicated that the first priority in the mission of raising the public awareness of science is to improve the competencies of the government officers in their awareness of important science issues. It has underlined an urgent need of a more proactive approach to bridge the gap between scientists and other government officers to help in raising science awareness and competencies among the government officers in order that they can consecutively and successfully complete their mission in raising the public awareness of science and technology.

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