PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Changes in adult literacy, attitudes and interest in science
A cohort analysis across EU-12 countries from 1989 to 2005.

Martin W. Bauer   London School of Economics

Abstract: Eurobarometer surveys, the survey instrument of the EC in Brussels, has been asking questions pertaining to public sentiment regarding science and technology since the 1970s. A series of eight related EB surveys have recently been integrated (sample size over 60,000 observations and 60 variables), and thus constitutes a unique longitudinal database to study for the dynamics of the culture of science across Europe EU-9, EU-12, EU-25 and EU-28. Comparable questions include items on knowledge, interest, confidence, attitudes in relation to education, age and gender. The paper will compare these changes over time on some of these indicators, and their relationship for selected countries. One of the key problems of such analyses will be to disentangle the effects of any significant time period, of age or generation groups and of simply growing older (the problems of cohort analysis).

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