Australians back science and scientists to lead recovery

This National Science Week, alongside our Sustainability Practice Client, 3M, a leader in science and innovation, we have fueled conversations about the value of science across the country using their international benchmarking research, the State of Science Index.

3M’s State of Science Index explores global and local attitudes towards science and aims to measure and explain how we, as people and a society, think and feel about science in our world.

Working together with partners Science and Technology Australia, we put the research at the heart of National Science Week discussions, which helped scientists and science advocates across the country hold important conversations about the value of science to our country and way of life.

Amid the pandemic and in the wake of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the impact science has on our everyday lives has never been more visible. What is encouraging is that almost unanimously, Australians are looking to science to lead the recovery.

Please see a copy of the media release below, developed in partnership with Science and Technology Australia.

AUSTRALIANS BACK SCIENCE AND SCIENTISTS TO LEAD RECOVERY
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.

To learn more about the State of Science Index or to see more of the results head to: https://www.3m.com.au/3M/en_AU/state-of-science-index-survey-au/