EU survey: Public attitudes to science

With our young people showing top marks internationally for science, as a nation we regard a scientific education with the utmost regard.

In a Eurobarometer survey carried out across all 28 EU countries last year, involving 27,563 respondents, Ireland was the only nation in which a majority of people (51%) said a scientific education is very important in stimulating creative thinking in young people. We also ranked highest (92%) for respondents to the survey who agree with the view. An average of 84% of all respondents agreed.

Meanwhile, the same survey found that 59% of EU citizens believe that young people who are interested in science have a better chance of getting a job.

Some 72% believe that by being interested in science, young people also improve their culture.

Interestingly, respondents in Ireland and Malta were the most optimistic about science-minded students finding a job, at 78%. Only four countries — Cyprus (41%), France (44%), Slovenia (44%) and Latvia (48%) — did not return a majority agreeing with this view.

The poll showed a slight rise in the number of people who believed that science offered young people a chance to get a job in the recession, compared with the same survey carried out in 2010. Also, 68% of people surveyed agreed that science prepares youths to act as well-informed citizens.

The survey revealed that though 53% of all respondents are interested in science and technology developments, the majority (58%) do not feel informed about discoveries and breakthroughs. A massive 40% said they were “not very well informed”. Public understanding of science remains a challenge for governments, the media and the public themselves.

Read the Eurobarometer survey

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Breaking Stories

Garda Commissioner to face questions over homocide figures


Hand of Fate: Have faith in the hand you are dealt

Sean O’Hagan returns to 'cosmopolitan' Cork

Nude dating show Naked Attraction will see singletons revealing a lot about themselves

'Everybody cheats on everybody': Technology and its impact on human behaviour

More From The Irish Examiner