Science Survey: Science Overtakes Sport in Europe


According to new Eurobarometer survey, people in Europe are had shown greater interest in Science and technological developments than in sports. As per the survey 80% of Europeans are interested in science and technological research and development whereas only 65% of Europeans are interested in sports news. The survey was presented by European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn

'Perhaps a World Cup of science would get even more people round the TV than the football one does!' quipped the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, presenting the results of the survey.

Eurobarometer findings have been remarked as positive with 61% claiming that they are well informed about the new scientific discoveries and 71% agree that there will be more opportunities for future generations because of science and technology. 58% believes that youngster interested in science and technology will have better chances of getting jobs.

According to the Survey, the Following are the Key Insights:

  1. Europeans have a positive view about the image of science and technology but do not have clear insight into the work of the scientist.
  2. The Europeans feel that scientists should take decision on science on technological matters but public should be consulted.
  3. Europeans are not publicly involved with the issues of science and technology with 91% of the respondent never or hardly ever attended public debate or meetings.
  4. Though Europeans are optimistic about the effect of science and technology but as compared to 2005 the optimism is marginally less.
  5. Europeans feels that the scientists are not efficient in communicating the message about science.
  6. Most of the Europeans feel that the government should actively participate and do more to encourage youths to be involved in science and technology.
  7. Though the Europeans are not clear of the European Union’s Investment in Science and technology research but feels that the investment should be increased.

As per the survey, scientific and technological development in the area of health problems interests the Europeans most followed by new energy and the environment. Here also sports take a beating. Focusing specifically on new scientific discoveries and technological developments the survey finds out that though 79% of the respondents are interested, there is a marked country difference.

The Eurobarometer survey is the result of face-to-face interviews with over 30,000 people in 32 European countries (the 27 EU Member States plus Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) carried out earlier this year.

The criticism of the Government for not doing enough to bring young people into scientific field and to support specific measures to increase the number of women involved in scientific research was as high as two third and three fourth respectively.
To this criticism Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn commented 'I am sure they are right, this is not just a question of equal opportunities, but of using all of the talent we have available in Europe.'

Quizzed on the ethical front, 66% of respondents agreed that scientists should be allowed to experiment on mice if the work could help solve human health problems. However, the respondents were not seen too keen to experiment on dogs and monkeys where the survey figure fell to 44%.

Most Europeans do not believe that scientific and technological development would help the Earth’s nature resources from being inexhaustible. More than half of the respondents believe that scientists because of their knowledge have the power to make them dangerous.

'The success of the Europe 2020 Strategy depends on cutting edge science to keep Europe competitive. In turn, that means ordinary Europeans need to back science and keep the pressure up on government and on industry to invest in it,' concluded Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn. 'These results show a very high awareness of the importance of science. But they also show that both politicians - like me - and scientists themselves need to explain better what we are doing and why.