In  the  context  of  the  restructuring  of  the  scientific  and  technological  system  in  South  Africa,  the  government  has allocated the responsibility for the promotion and support of public understanding and appreciation of science and technology to the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology.

The  Foundation  –  an  agency  of  the  Department  of  Arts,  Culture,  Science  and  Technology  -  assisted  by  dedicated legislation  is  on  the  process  of  among  others  of  bringing  up  to  international  standards  the  understanding  of  the interests, attitudes and sources of Scientific and Technological information of the public in South Africa.

To  this  end  a  survey  of  1000  individuals  is  currently  underway  aiming  at  getting  information  related  to  scientific areas  of  interest  to  South  Africans  (e.g.  medical,  environmental  etc),  developing  indices  of  informedness  and attentiveness,  identifying  the  sources  providing  Science  and  Technology  information  to  South  Africans  and identifying the perceptions and trust of the public on science and scientists.

The effort is compatible with similar efforts in Europe and the USA and international comparisons are possible. The article reports the first results of this effort.



 
 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Interests, public attitudes and sources of scientific information in South Africa

Anastassios Pouris   Foundation for Education, Science and Technology, South Africa

In  the  context  of  the  restructuring  of  the  scientific  and  technological  system  in  South  Africa,  the  government  has allocated the responsibility for the promotion and support of public understanding and appreciation of science and technology to the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology.

The  Foundation  –  an  agency  of  the  Department  of  Arts,  Culture,  Science  and  Technology  -  assisted  by  dedicated legislation  is  on  the  process  of  among  others  of  bringing  up  to  international  standards  the  understanding  of  the interests, attitudes and sources of Scientific and Technological information of the public in South Africa.

To  this  end  a  survey  of  1000  individuals  is  currently  underway  aiming  at  getting  information  related  to  scientific areas  of  interest  to  South  Africans  (e.g.  medical,  environmental  etc),  developing  indices  of  informedness  and attentiveness,  identifying  the  sources  providing  Science  and  Technology  information  to  South  Africans  and identifying the perceptions and trust of the public on science and scientists.

The effort is compatible with similar efforts in Europe and the USA and international comparisons are possible. The article reports the first results of this effort.



 
 

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