Wednesday, October 7, 2020

3M 2020 State of Science Index Survey

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Education, Science and Society

Ed Hessler

The third 3M State of Science Report is based on surveys of 1000 people across 14 countries before the pandemic (August-October 2019) and another 1000 people in 11 countries between July-August 2020. 

The featured message: The global pandemic has renewed trust in science. The prompt "I am skeptical of science" dropped from 35% to 28% this year. And almost half say that science is important to their every day lives--44% last year. Twenty per cent were likely to advocate for science last year but now nearly 55% say they would. Lack of access to science classes is the leading barrier to STEM education. In the U.S. some form of inequality is cited as the reason (50%) compared to 27% for other respondents.

Here is the report which includes a video (3m 20s) by Dr. Jayshree Seth boiled down to major points below which some of the data are displayed in visuals. In addition, two links allow you to view survey highlights and explore the data.

In addition, the science journal Nature (October 8 2020) has a feature article--a 15 minute read +/- -- which I read following the 3M report. It is titled "How Trump Damaged Science," which notes that "some of the harm could be permanent." There are a few outliers, of course in accomplishments but this administration has mocked and belittled the scientific expertise and importance of science throughout.  

The Nature feature chronicles some of the key effects: climate, environment, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the practice of isolationist science. According to political scientist David Victor "The Trump folks have poured an acid on public institutions that is much more powerful than anything we've seen before."

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