Understanding the public's attitudes towards and engagement with science is important for a wide variety of decision makers attempting to craft policies designed to ensure the global competitiveness of our economy.
The study was commissioned by the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation. Data collection was undertaken by Sweeney Research between 22 July 2011 and 21 September 2011. Attitudes towards and engagement with science are critical to measure, to track through time and to understand at an intimate level; for it is only with a solid evidence base that responsible authorities will be able to devise and monitor strategies to increase the public’s engagement with science.
As taxpayers fund a majority of scientific research and have a right to a say in how that money is spent, it is important to understand what they think about science – and its institutions – in order to ensure that societal effectiveness of investment is maximised. As consumers of science and technology, it is important that we the public understand what it can do and how it does it so that we can make informed choices about how and what to engage with. Further, science and the scientific method are fundamental for invention, for improvement and for advancement. If Victoria aspires to be an innovative and technologically advanced state, then it is imperative that the wider population value science and the benefits it can bring. Understanding the public’s attitudes towards and engagement with science is important for a wide variety of decision makers attempting to craft policies designed to ensure the global competitiveness of our economy.