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Science and the Public: A review of science communication and public attitudes to science in Britain

Based on research sponsored by the Office of Science and Technology (OST) and the Wellcome Trust, this report brings together research that maps the provision of science communication with research exploring public attitudes to science, engineering and technology. It is intended to start a consultation process within the science communication community regarding priorities for future activity.

Download the report [PDF 536KB].

Key findings

  • Science communication activities tend to be skewed towards activities that provide facts about science rather than activities that highlight the ethical and policy issues raised by science.
  • The majority of those surveyed were 'amazed' by the achievements of science, although some expressed concerns about its regulation and control.
  • Analysis identified six attitudinal groups: 'confident believers', 'technophiles', 'supporters', 'concerned', 'not sure' and 'not for me'. The research offers descriptions of each of these groups.

Additional information

Background information used in the preparation of the main report:

  • Data tables in 'Science and the Public: A Review of Science Communication and Public Attitudes to Science in Britain', published by the OST Public Engagement with Science and Technology Team.
    Order the data tables from:
    Office of Science and Technology
    Bay 491
    1 Victoria Street
    London SW1H OET
    T
    +44 (0)20 7215 5658
  • 'Science and the Public: Mapping Science Communication Activities' [PDF 215KB]
    A report by Research International.
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