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Trust in science grows

Public trust and confidence in science is growing, a MORI research poll to mark National Science Week has found.

Public trust and confidence in science is growing, a MORI research poll to mark National Science Week has found.

The poll, Science in Society, revealed that 70 per cent of adults believe that scientists tell the truth, compared with 63 per cent five years ago. A further 80 per cent of respondents felt that science makes a good contribution to society, although 70 per cent thought that the media sensationalised scientific issues.

A further 40 per cent of respondents thought that they were well informed about science and 56 per cent said that they had taken part in a science-based activity outside work in the past year.

The survey was conducted last year using the responses of 1,831 UK adults.

Chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, said: ìThis report clearly shows a largely positive attitude among the UK public about science and the perception of science issues. In order to build on this, the UK needs a mix of sustained funding, informed debate and sensible regulation.î

Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, backed King's stance, adding that, ìnow is the time for engagement and dialogueî.

Professor Robert Winston, president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), launched National Science Week on March 11.

Speaking at the launch, Winston said: ìNational Science Week is so important because it makes science accessible and draws scientists into the public domain to discuss their work.î

The week, which runs until March 20, aims to promote public engagement with science. Events planned for the week include interactive workshops, talks, debates and online activities.

30th September 2008

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