READ: Has the pandemic changed the publics' attitudes towards science?
29 March 2021
Public Engagement - report
A new post on the LSE Impact Blog provides a run-down from several surveys that have looked to assess public attitudes to science during the last year, compared to surveys carried out before the pandemic.
One of the questions that has been on many researchers' minds over the last year or so, is how the spotlight being shone on science in action has affected how the public see science. Has it been for better, or for worse? Have the constant updates, or shifts in understanding been detrimental to public trust or perceptions of science and scientific expertise, or not?
A question that perhaps we still can't give the ultimate answer to, because the story isn't over yet, however there has been quite a lot of work carried out tracking and assessing public attitudes at this time, building on existing surveys, so we're able to understand what has or hasn't changed.
A blog post on the LSE Impact Blog written by a range of engagement with research evaluation experts and researchers reviews the current evidence for public perceptions of and attitudes towards science have shifted over the last year or so, based on such surveys from the UK, Germany, Ireland and the US.
No spoilers here, it's quite a quick read!
What to read next
23 July 2020
The Public Attitudes to Science surveys take place every five or so years, taking the pulse of the nation in terms of how people feel about science - covering various aspects of engagement with and trust of science, as well as attitudes towards specific topics.
If you're interested in doing some public engagement with research (PER) but not sure where to find help, we offer a range of support or can point you in the right direction: from training sessions to answering your questions during help desk hours.
This comment piece in Nature provides excellent, clear tips and food for thought if you're a researcher who wants to communicate the evidence to foster public discussion and build trust.