At the same time, more than half dismiss these subjects as completely unscientific. This is according to a new opinion study from the Swedish organisation Vetenskap & Allmänhet (Public and Science), VA.
VA in cooperation with Synovate Temo surveyed over one thousand Swedes about how they see science and researchers. Similar surveys have been carried out every year since 2002.
Above all it is young women who consider astrology to be a science. The proportion has risen six percentage points since last year.
– The results show that people do not have enough knowledge about what science is. Therefore we need more contact and more meetings between researchers and the public, says Camilla Modéer, Secretary General of VA.
Trust in researchers at universities has gone down since the surveys began in 2002, but seven out of ten still have great trust in researchers. Attitudes to scientific developments have at the same time become more positive. Almost nine out of ten believe that scientific developments have made life better for ordinary people.
Nine out of ten people have high confidence in the potential of research to develop more effective and environmentally friendly sources of energy. A smaller but increasing proportion believes that research can contribute to reducing segregation in cities.
Seven out of ten people believe that there is a strong possibility that research will help increase economic growth, which represents a marked increase since 2005. Six out of ten believe that there is a strong chance that research can help reduce climate change.
- Research areas that are currently in the news tend to be viewed by many as important. Most people would like to see support for research that people can benefit directly from, says Karin Hermannson, Research Manager at VA.
In line with this, the proportion of people that think that researchers should work on things that can give useful results has also increased.
Research results should be confirmed by other investigations before they are presented to the public, according to an increasing proportion of the public – now a full nine out of ten. Two out of three believe there are far too many alarmist reports published in the media.
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