How Scientists Engage the Public New Survey Findings

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How Scientists Engage the Public New Survey Findings Lee Rainie & Cary Funk – Pew Research Center AAAS Panel February 15, 2015

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Our release today 3,748 U.S.-based AAAS scientists Sept. 11 – Oct. 13, 2014 Tied to earlier report: “Public and Scientists Views on Science and Society” With general population survey N=2,002 3/18/2015 3

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Most scientists support active engagement in public policy debates 3/18/2015 4

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Nearly all scientists talk with the public Large numbers use social media and blogs March 18, 2015 5

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March 18, 2015 6 Active engagers 41% of AAAS scientists do 2 or more of these things “often” or “occasionally”: Talk with non-experts Talk with the media Use social media Blog

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March 18, 2015 7 Why engage?

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Most scientists perceive both interest in and debate over their work March 18, 2015 8

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March 18, 2015 9 Perspectives of AAAS Scientists Today Scientists are less upbeat about the scientific enterprise today “Good time for science” -- figure dropped 24 points since 2009 “Good time for my specialty” – figure dropped 11 points since 2009 Scientists are concerned about funding 83% of AAAS scientists report that obtaining federal research funding is harder today than it was five years ago. There are gaps with the public on a range of science-related issues Scientists perceive a limited impact of the research enterprise on relevant policy regulations 15% of scientists say they believe policy choices about land use are guided by the best science most of the time or always; 27% think the best science frequently guides regulations about clean air and water

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Most scientists see lack of public knowledge and media reports as problems for science March 18, 2015 10

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March 18, 2015 11 Perspectives of AAAS Scientists Today - 2 Career encouragements 43% of AAAS scientists say it is important or very important for scientists in their specialty to get coverage of their work in news media, up from 37% who said that in a 2009 survey. 22% described it as either “very important” (4%) or “important” (18%) for career advancement in their discipline to promote their findings on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.

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Perceptions of public interest and debate vary by discipline March 18, 2015 12

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End – more slides of Pew Research data are included below, but hidden March 18, 2015 13

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Uptick in scientists saying news coverage is important for their career March 18, 2015 14

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More younger scientists see career benefits in social media platforms March 18, 2015 15

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Scientists in fields with more debate are especially likely to say media and social media are important for career March 18, 2015 16

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Scientists in public-facing fields are more likely to engage with the public March 18, 2015 17

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Scientists who see more interest among citizenry are also more likely to engage with the public March 18, 2015 18

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Scientists who talk with the public often are also more likely to engage in other ways March 18, 2015 19