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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Attitudes to science EAST and WEST – structures and changes in the long run

Martin W. Bauer  

This panel addresses trends in and evaluating the effects of public communication of S&T in society. National surveys of attitudes have been conducted since the 1970s; this effort is a global one, but with little comparisons beyond headline figures. Longitudinal evidence is now available which deserves the attention of PCST scholars and practitioners. This panel will address three questions arising from such comparisons of attitudes: (1) Can we assume a universally stable structure of attitudes to science? Probably not. Ahmet Suerdem (Istanbul) and Rajesh Shukla (Delhi) will examine this question over 6-waves of Eurobarometer surveys since 1989 across 32 European countries, and three nationwide Indian surveys (2005, 2008 and 2015) and suggest that we need to consider different structures of attitudes for different contexts (1D, 2D or 3D). (2) Considering longitudinal evidence in any one context, what are the main shifts? Yuh-Yuh Li (Kaoshiung) will examine changes in the context of Taiwan since the beginning of the new millennium, when the Taiwan attitude series started. The Taiwanese surveys are comparable to Eurobarometer, but in addition explore interesting issues that are locally specific to Taiwan. (3) In the long-run, generational cohorts influence on how people relate to science: what is the evidence? Having longitudinal measures across 12 EU countries in Eurobarometer, 1989-2012, allows to create the cohort variable in contrast to biological age. Martin W Bauer (LSE) will examine the generation question of science attitudes in EU12 states and compare the evidence as to a consistent cohort effect controlling for period and level of education. In some countries the intensive engagement with science culture seem to be vested in the post-war and Baby boom generation, in other countries, this orientation is the privilege of the youngest generations. The panel will address these questions also within a view of an EAST-WEST perspective:

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

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