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28/08/2014

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Blog

Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.

By Karen Folkes, Chair of the 'Public Attitudes to Science' Steering Group and Deputy Head of Science and Society, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Nearly a year ago, I wrote on this blog to set out what we were doing to update our evidence on UK public attitudes to science. As you can see from all the other posts, there has been a lot of activity since. And now we’re able to publish what we’ve found.

By Emily O’Regan, UK Young Scientist of the Year 2013. Emily is currently studying at Bangor University and won the National Science + Engineering Competition in March last year with her project on flamingo breeding.

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For me, it has been quite a hectic year. I won UK Young Scientist of the Year 2013, travelled half way across the world to volunteer, and moved 250 miles away from home to start university.

by Katie Griffiths, the Young People's Programme Assistant at the British Science Association.

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Have you heard of Hedy Lamarr, who developed the concept of frequency-hopping that is behind modern day Bluetooth and wireless technology, but who is better known for her acting ability and beautiful face?

By Faisal Khan, Head of Science at The Market Bosworth School, Leicestershire, and National Science & Engineering Week 2013 Best Secondary School Event Award winner.

This is the second blog post from Faisal on the Market Bosworth School's preparation for National Science & Engineering Week. You can read the first post here.

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by Tom Seaward, who works on Project Wild Thing, a film-led campaign to get children outdoors.

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As a child I was a nature hoarder. I kept my own museum under the bed. Just a chocolate box, but it was filled with things I’d collected while out and about.

by Coralie Young, Communications Manager at the British Science Association.

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It was French philosopher Claude Levi-Strauss who once said “The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions.”

Hilary LeeversAs part of the Public Attitudes to Science (PAS) 2014 study, Ipsos MORI held a qualitative Day of Discovery in London earlier this month. With a 15-strong team from Ipsos MORI, they recruited over 100 members of the general public to enter the Crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields church to spend part of their day discussing how to improve the quality of science communication. In particular, the day focused on five different questions:

  • What is the best way to communicate with different segments of the public?
  • Why do people feel better informed about certain topics than others?
  • How can we help people better understand what scientists actually do in their work?
  • How can we improve trust in science and scientists?
  • What drives public support for investment in science and technology?

All these are questions that the PAS 2014 survey findings can help with, but require a qualitative approach for a more meaningful answer, as Dr Hilary Leevers, Head of Education and Learning at the Wellcome Trust and one of the observers on the day, recounts below.

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It was fascinating to eavesdrop on the Day of Discovery. As an enthusiast myself, it was revealing to listen to some people speaking frankly about the more troubled or detached relationships they have with science alongside the passion of others.

by Ling Ge, Manager at EPSRC UK National Service for Computational Chemistry Software (NSCCS).

By Faisal Khan, Head of Science at The Market Bosworth School, Leicestershire, and National Science & Engineering Week 2013 Best Secondary School Event Award winner.

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What did you do for NSEW 2013?

By Alan Mercer is Sciencewise Programme Director. This post is part of a series of posts for the Public Attitudes to Science 2014 study.

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This month saw the publication of a Special Eurobarometer report on Responsible research and innovation, science and technology.  For anyone engaged in developments in science and technology, the survey into the views of the public from across the 27 EU states makes for very interesting reading.

As the Programme Director for the Sciencewise programme, I was drawn to the finding that 64% – almost two-thirds – of those surveyed in the UK indicated that public dialogue is required on decisions about science and technology. This places the UK fifth in the EU for requiring this dialogue, and higher than the EU27 average of 55%.

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