Public interest in the issues of science and technology (S&T) reveal public identity of S&T in Taiwan. The study of public interest in S&T is important because it is the source of the public engaged in learning S&T. The purpose of this paper is aimed at testing and constructing an explanatory model by using the science-culture perspective of S&T. It is assumed that social contextual factors which relate to the formation of self identity determined people’s interest in S&T. Factors associated with a great diversity of interests are examined. These factors included social structural characteristics (i.e. education, age, and income), mass media’s impact (i.e. newspaper, web-news, TV news, and science magazine), religious factors, pseudoscience beliefs, and science knowledge. A national data was collected in Taiwan in 2008 with a sample size of 2024. Multiple regression analysis was employed. One of the significant findings is that a popular local custom of belief has a negative impact on public interest in S&T. It was also found that science knowledge related positively to public interest in S&T. The applications of science communication are discussed in this paper.">
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PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Social contexts of Taiwan’s public interest in science and technology

Yuh-Yuh Li   National Sun Yat-Sen University

Tai-chu Huang   National Sun Yat-sen University

Paichi Shein   National Sun Yat-sen University

Public interest in the issues of science and technology (S&T) reveal public identity of S&T in Taiwan. The study of public interest in S&T is important because it is the source of the public engaged in learning S&T. The purpose of this paper is aimed at testing and constructing an explanatory model by using the science-culture perspective of S&T. It is assumed that social contextual factors which relate to the formation of self identity determined people’s interest in S&T. Factors associated with a great diversity of interests are examined. These factors included social structural characteristics (i.e. education, age, and income), mass media’s impact (i.e. newspaper, web-news, TV news, and science magazine), religious factors, pseudoscience beliefs, and science knowledge. A national data was collected in Taiwan in 2008 with a sample size of 2024. Multiple regression analysis was employed. One of the significant findings is that a popular local custom of belief has a negative impact on public interest in S&T. It was also found that science knowledge related positively to public interest in S&T. The applications of science communication are discussed in this paper.

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