FSD2918 Finnish Science Barometer 2013

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research, science, scientific development, scientific progress, scientific research, technology and innovation

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The survey studied Finnish public opinion on science and research, scientific-technical development, and sources of scientific information.

The respondents rated their interest in following various subject areas in the media (e.g. culture and arts, sports, economy, politics, science and research), and interest in specific scientific and research issues (e.g. new scientific innovations, medicine, information technology, space research or history research). The importance of various sources of information on science and scientific development was surveyed. The respondents were asked to name one present-day and one former prominent Finnish scientist, as well as an invention or accomplishment of Finnish science.

One question explored trust in various institutions: Parliament, the church, trade unions, the media, armed forces, universities, the European Union, main research funders etc. Views were probed on how well certain aspects of science (for instance, quality of research, ethical issues, science funding, usefulness of science to everyday life) have been taken care of in Finland. The respondents were also asked whether science can solve certain problems or help mankind (e.g. find a cure for cancer, raise the standard of living, eradicate hunger from the world, promote peace, happiness, security or democracy, decrease unemployment).

The survey also carried various of attitudinal statements on science and research. Statements covered, for instance, cooperation between universities and businesses, scientific information in the media, alternative medicine, relationship between science and religion, vivisection, genetic engineering, use of scientific information in decision-making, science funding and its allocation, science and research policy, impact of scientific and technological development, university policy, arts and humanities, ethics, indigenous languages, and government funding to universities.

The 2013 survey also introduced a new question that investigated how much the respondents had followed news about topical issues in science (e.g. Higgs boson, vaccine safety, biobanks, Internet privacy).

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, size of the municipality of residence, region, basic and vocational education, field of education, and economic activity and occupational status.

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