FSD3785 Finnish Science Barometer 2022

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Authors

  • Varpula, Vesa (Tieteen tiedotus ry)

Keywords

COVID-19, immunization, institutions, mass media, research, science, scientific development, scientific progress, technology and innovation

Abstract

The survey studied Finnish public opinion on science and scientific-technical development. The study was commissioned by Tieteen tiedotus ry.

First, the respondents were asked how interested they were in several topics (e.g. culture and art, sports, environment, politics, technology). The importance of various sources of information on science and scientific development was also surveyed (e.g. newspapers, TV, radio, scientific publications, the internet, social media, seminars and lectures). Next, trust in various institutions (e.g. the Parliament, the church, trade unions, the media, armed forces, universities, the European) and science and research in general was examined. The respondents were also asked to name a Finnish researcher who they felt was trustworthy.

The respondents' views on how they expected scientific and technological developments to change people's daily lives in the next 10-20 years were investigated. The respondents were also asked whether they thought that science can solve certain problems or considerably help mankind (e.g. find a cure for cancer, raise the standard of living, stop or delay climate change, eradicate hunger from the world, decrease unemployment, promote peace and democracy). Additionally, opinions on how well certain aspects of science (e.g. quality of research, level of technology and medicine, ethical issues, science funding, usefulness of science to society and everyday life) have been taken care of in Finland were charted.

The survey also carried various attitudinal statements on science and research. The statements covered, for instance, relationships between religion and science, science funding, alternative medicine, researchers' involvement in politics, use of scientific information in political decision-making, impact of scientific and technological development, climate change, and nutrition. Finally, the respondents' opinions on immunization were charted with questions relating to, for example, the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, the reliability of information given by authorities, and the right to choose or decline immunization for themselves or their children. The impact that the coronavirus pandemic had had on the respondents' trust in various bodies (e.g. researchers, journalists, health officials, influencers who criticise health officials) was also surveyed.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, number of inhabitants in municipality of residence, NUTS3 region of residence, type of accommodation, household characteristics, basic and vocational education, field of education, statistical grouping of municipalities, political party preference, perceived social class, economic activity and occupational status, and household's annual income.

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