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Australians back science and scientists to lead recovery

Science & Technology Australia Media Release

Australians strongly trust science and scientists, think science strengthens the country, and want more investment in science to speed our post-pandemic recovery.

The key findings from a major new study to launch National Science Week reflect the pivotal role science has played to help Australia to tackle COVID-19.

The 3M State of Science Index measures public attitudes to science in 17 countries. In 2021, it asked Australians for their views on science and its role in our lives.

The new data will be released at the launch today of National Science Week. The launch – to be delivered by Science & Technology Australia for the Australian Government – features a panel of leading experts speaking to ‘The Science of Recovery, Resilience and Renewal’.

The survey reveals Australians have very strong levels of trust in science – higher than in many other nations – as nine in ten of us say we trust science and scientists.

Australians also strongly support more investment in science – 19 in 20 of us think it will make the country stronger. And amid daily reminders of the vast value of science to inform public understanding of the COVID and climate challenges, nine in ten Australians say science should help drive policy-making.

Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert – who will chair today’s launch and expert panel – said the new data confirms the very strong levels of trust from Australians in science and scientists.

“Science has been our saviour in the pandemic. Scientists around the world have worked round the clock on safe and effective new vaccines, careful public health strategies to save lives, and real-time data to support our frontline healthcare heroes,” she said.

“It’s heartening to see how strongly Australians recognise, respect, and are reassured by the powerful contribution science and our scientists have made. Australians also clearly want science to lead our social and economic recovery.”

Chris LeBlanc, Managing Director of 3M Australia and New Zealand and one of the expert panellists on the National Science Week event, said science is viewed as essential to shaping, strengthening and improving Australia.

“Since 3M started the State of Science Index four years ago, trust in science globally remains at the highest level we have recorded. The Index has captured a moment in history when the impact of science on our lives has never been more visible,” he said.

“While the pandemic has been a truly unpredictable hurdle for people in Australia and around the world, we have had some remarkable achievements due to the power of science. People once considered to be hidden away in labs have become the heroes of our society.”

In other key findings:

  • 17 in 20 Australians think there are negative consequences for society if we don’t value science
  • 19 in 20 Australians see scientists as critical to our future wellbeing
  • Two in three parents think that during the pandemic, scientists and medical professionals are inspiring a new generation to pursue a science-based career in the future.

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9 comments

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  1. Keitha Granville

    Given those results is clear the people running the country are the ones who DON’T believe in science.

  2. DrakeN

    Keitha, it is difficult to imagine that they actually believe in anything other than self promotion and personal benefit.
    Even Sooty’s claim to religious doctrine is questionable, just as most religious authorities’ claim to godliness is extemely dubious.

  3. Phil Pryor

    The conservative religion is the Great Grubbyanity. All Grubs adhere to the need for abrasive egofixated pushiness, selfishness in excess, vast slabs of greed, abuse of opportunity, predatory behaviour to all heathens, barbarians, outsiders, thus citizens, voters and workers. Work is shunned, for Grubbyanity espouses the Bludge. The Bludge is a devotion, a sacrament, a duty. The best Bludgers are awarded parasite status and get handouts, as once they craved bounties, tariffs, offsets, discounts, writedowns, incentives, grants and assorted applied criminality. So knowing it works, is self evident and gives prosperity to the leaders of the push, get in folks, don’t just be a human, a voter, a needy citizen, become a Great Grub and get on, up, ahead. Look at me/me/me. I’m a GRUB, just like Gerry and Solly…

  4. New England Cocky

    Well what do yer know?? Scummo and the Hell$inger$ Choru$ are out of step with the Australian community especially on the Liarbral Nazional$ contempt for the social and financial benefits of scientific work.
    .
    I am reminded of the NSW DoE Inspector in the 80s who publicly admitted that he hated Science, so in his role as Inspector assigned to review the Science curriculum, he converted a hands on ”bangs & smells” subject to HIS preferred colouring in sessions … just like HIS personal academic ”strengths” Geography & History.
    .
    Did significant damage to Science education ….. just as the present Australian COALition misgovernment is destroying the Australian economy by considering ignorance is bliss …..

  5. New England Cocky

    @Phil Pryor: Another great contribution!! Your psychological insights into the thinking of political aspirants and the management (bosses) classes in general is evident through out Australian history since European Invasion & settlement.

    “I carn’t do nuffing without a government handout”, a whinging policy pursued by the Nazional$ to continue pouring Australian taxpayer dollars into the pockets of their political donors and declining geriatric membership. The Upper Hunter branch of the Nazional$ is reported as having 22 members at the pre-selection meeting before the recent NSW bye-election to replace the former sex crazed member.

  6. Phil Pryor

    Since 1788, there has been little “free” economic activity, as governments had to do big infrastructure for the rural exporters, with abuses, pests, overstocking, whining for every support shortcut. I went to Armidale often in the 1960’s for B A courses, and, one could feel the great divide between “liberal” and social democrat student and staff types with the locals. Judith Wright’s father, also Philip, handed me my testamur, and they were “strangers” to old country party attitude and machinations. We are a Rigged society, with contrived two or three grouping co-predators, e g, the old airline, T V, bank setups. Big monopolies abounded, e g, Telstra, the electricity, gas, phone, even milk setups. Some efficiency occurred, but tariffs made us, forever, a high wage/price/cost/profit nation, covered by so much imperial preference. So, Cocky, enjoy today’s B Joyce Armidale, and remember, if one door slams in your face, two others shut…

  7. Pingback: Study finds Australians respect science - The Big Smoke

  8. Jack sprat

    Franking credits ,tax cuts for big business and the rich and negative gearing will trump science every time .

  9. Andrew J. Smith

    All well and good but our media and politicians avoid science that is supported with literacy, research, data and analysis vs. -ve PR round all things non fossil fuels or constraints on business.

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