The level of trust in science is high: 67% of the population trusts in science and research
Researchers are the most-trusted of the professions in Luxembourg, overtaking doctors, a survey by the national research foundation has found.
The FNR’s latest survey testing the perception of science and research across the country found that 88% of respondents trusted researchers, while 86% trusted doctors.
Teachers came in at third place, winning the trust of 73% of respondents. Politicians, meanwhile, had the lowest trust levels with just a quarter of respondents saying they trusted them, putting them almost on a par with managers of private companies.
The media won the trust of just 42% of respondents, according to the survey, which was carried out by Quest with 600 people from across Luxembourg society and published on 17 October. Other key findings were that six out of ten respondents were interested in science and research in Luxembourg, compared to four out of ten when the survey was conducted in 2011.
Chart: FNR 2019 perception of the Luxembourg research community survey
Being better informed
Just over a third of respondents said they felt that they were well informed when it came to science and research in Luxembourg. But that was not through lack of interest, it would seem, as seven out of ten respondents said that they wanted to be better informed. The desire to be better informed was particularly strong among the younger target audience (15- to 29-year-olds, 62%). One could read into it that there are some shortcomings in the curriculum since half of respondents felt secondary school did not train students well enough in sciences.
But the desire to be better informed could also be linked with the increased profile of science when it comes to climate change, thanks, in part, to Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s repeated call for people to “listen to the scientists”.
Half of respondents said that the best way to be informed was via the online press and other media.
High levels of trust in research and data-driven work were also reported in a survey published on Friday by public statistics body Statec. Seven out of ten people polled said they trusted public statistics, while six out of ten said they felt the data was not influenced by political considerations.