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Finnish Science Barometer 2013: Finns have high trust in science

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 19.11.2013 11.04
News item

Science, both as an institution and more specifically through certain organisations, is highly trusted by Finns. The quality of Finnish science and research is considered to hold a high standard, and the percentage of Finns who have strong confidence in the ability of science to produce reliable and accurate results is high. The prospects for science in Finland are also viewed as positive.

These are among the key findings of the , a survey commissioned by the Finnish Society for Scientific Information that examines Finns’ attitudes towards science and their opinions on scientific and technological progress.

The present barometer is the fifth of its kind in Finland; the first survey was conducted in 2001.

Three out of four respondents reported being interested in nature and the environment. Social affairs in general came in second (72%).

Two out of three respondents (65%) said that they follow issues related to science, research and technology with great interest. The percentage of respondents interested in science has increased by eight percentage points since 2010. Interest in economic, political and social affairs has also grown since 2010.

Following certain fields is gender-related. More women than men are interested in culture and entertainment, while men are more interested in sports and the economy. Environmental and social affairs are widely followed by both men and women, while men, in particular, are highly interested in issues dealing with science, research and technology.

The survey shows that the age group with the greatest interest in science is that of young adults aged 26–35.

Respondents with an academic education have the greatest interest in science; four in five (82%) said that they actively follow science issues. As regards the various fields of expertise, those who have studied natural sciences and engineering or arts and the humanities have the greatest interest in science.