The main aim of this study is to deepen the knowledge about how Spanish citizens access to information on science and technology (S & T). We proposed one main hypothesis: Citizens access to information on S & T through two different patterns: one active and one passive. In the passive pattern information comes to citizens without making a specific effort to find it, while in the passive one citizen makes an effort to access to information or resources which require a certain level of participation.

To analyse the veracity of our hypotheses we used the data from the Survey of Social Perception of Science 2019 (a random sample of 7747 citizens).

The observed results allow us to conclude that, indeed, among the Spanish population there are two different patterns in relation to access to information on science and technology. One way to access that information is through passive reception, without requiring more effort to be in contact with general media (TV, general newspapers, radio, non specialized magazines, non specialized books, and general media on line). A second way is through the selective and active search in electronic search engines, blogs, social networks and specialized magazines.

Citizens are mainly divided into a 50.3% that are both “active searchers and passive recipients” of information and a 44.3% that only are “passive recipients”. A small group respond in a way that can be interpreted just as “active searchers” (3.8%) and even fewer (1.6%) appear like they did not actively search or passively receive information.

Specifically, the most active in relation to the search for scientific information are those with a medium or high educational level, older than 14 and younger than 44 years, men, people higher incomes, the ones who consider themselves politically left wing, atheists, agnostics and indifferent in religious matters. Relations between the active search for information on science and technology and religious and political trends found in this research raise a number of new questions and issues to explore. Interest in science and technology is also related with a more active behaviour.

In conclusion, the active search of information about science and technology can be interpreted as a positive value in the development of individuals in the knowledge society. Some ideological and socio-demographic characteristics, as well as a higher interest in science and technology, are associated with active search.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Active search and passive reception of information on science and technology

Gema Revuelta   Science Communication Observatory, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain)

The main aim of this study is to deepen the knowledge about how Spanish citizens access to information on science and technology (S & T). We proposed one main hypothesis: Citizens access to information on S & T through two different patterns: one active and one passive. In the passive pattern information comes to citizens without making a specific effort to find it, while in the passive one citizen makes an effort to access to information or resources which require a certain level of participation.

To analyse the veracity of our hypotheses we used the data from the Survey of Social Perception of Science 2019 (a random sample of 7747 citizens).

The observed results allow us to conclude that, indeed, among the Spanish population there are two different patterns in relation to access to information on science and technology. One way to access that information is through passive reception, without requiring more effort to be in contact with general media (TV, general newspapers, radio, non specialized magazines, non specialized books, and general media on line). A second way is through the selective and active search in electronic search engines, blogs, social networks and specialized magazines.

Citizens are mainly divided into a 50.3% that are both “active searchers and passive recipients” of information and a 44.3% that only are “passive recipients”. A small group respond in a way that can be interpreted just as “active searchers” (3.8%) and even fewer (1.6%) appear like they did not actively search or passively receive information.

Specifically, the most active in relation to the search for scientific information are those with a medium or high educational level, older than 14 and younger than 44 years, men, people higher incomes, the ones who consider themselves politically left wing, atheists, agnostics and indifferent in religious matters. Relations between the active search for information on science and technology and religious and political trends found in this research raise a number of new questions and issues to explore. Interest in science and technology is also related with a more active behaviour.

In conclusion, the active search of information about science and technology can be interpreted as a positive value in the development of individuals in the knowledge society. Some ideological and socio-demographic characteristics, as well as a higher interest in science and technology, are associated with active search.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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