Svein Sjøberg (ILS, UiO): How do young people relate to science and technology? Is there a crisis? What about the interest for space science?
This talk presents data and perspectives from two large surveys that shed light on how young people and adults relate to many dimensions of science and technology: Their interests, experiences, values, attitudes and their perception s of the role and possibilities of science and technology in society.
The ROSE study (The Relevance of Science Education) has data from 15-year old learners in schools from 40 countries, while the Eurobarometer studies have similar data from the entire European adult population. The Eurobarometer-studies are the largest surveys in the world, and has provided the European Union with information on how Europeans look at important aspects of political, cultural, educational and economical nature since the 1970's.
Emphasis will be put on similarities and differences between countries and between men and women on attitudes, interests, perceptions of S&T as well as the trust and belief in S&T. Data from similar questions in the ROSE study opens for comparisons between the young and the adult population. Some data suggest that there is a generation shift in the attitudes towards S&T, with the younger being less positive and more skeptical.
The interest for many aspects of space science seems, however, to be higher than for most other areas of science.