The Swinburne National Technology and Society Monitor provides an annual ‘snapshot’ of public perceptions of technological change. The Monitor is based on a national survey of 1000 Australian adults aged 18 to 94. The main findings of the 2012 Monitor are:
1. In general, Australians are comfortable with the rate of technological change in the world today.
2. Most Australians are very comfortable with having wind farms in Australia but are not comfortable with having nuclear power plants in Australia.
3. Australians are somewhat comfortable with ‘clean coal’ (carbon capturing), but not comfortable with coal seam gas or non-renewable coal.
4. The degree of comfort with genetically modified (GM) plants and animals for food remains relatively low.
5. Australians trust scientific institutions and the non-commercial media for information about new technologies. They have less trust in major companies and the churches, with the least trust in the commercial media.
6. Australians report higher levels of trust in medical doctors (particularly medical specialists) than in mental health professionals.
7. When asked what social issues were the most important for Australia today, issues related to quality of life were the most cited social concerns, followed by public health and community issues.
8. Australians are significantly more comfortable with genetic testing conducted by their GP compared to private online companies.