How does the public build their opinions and beliefs related to scientific issues?
Mendoza-Poudereux, I., Vengut-Climent, E., Mañoguil, B., Delicado, A., Pellegrini, G., Hrnčiarik, E., Llorente, C., Ciapala, K., Gaston, E., Warwas, I. y Moreno, C. (2019). “How does the public build their opinions and beliefs related to scientific issues?” . Comunicación presentada en el la Reunión Anual de la Sociedad de Biología Expermental. Sevilla, 2-5 de julio de 2019.
Ideally, science-related policies should be driven by existing data and scientific consensus. However, a number of controversial topics (GMOs, climate change, vaccines, CAMs, etc.) have shown us that this is not always the case: public opinion may be also a driving force and even the main one. Understanding how the (sometimes significant) gap between scientific consensus and popular beliefs is generated could help minimize said controversies and ease the development of science-related policies. The CONCISE (“Communication role on perception and beliefs of EU Citizens about Science”) EU funded project will try to shed light on this matter by holding a citizen consultation with 500 people, between September and November 2019, in five different EU countries: Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain. Thought these consultations, researchers aim at gaining a deeper insight into the public understanding of science and identify current science communication models. Hopefully, this will also reveal indicators that might help improve science communication. Similarly, the project will allow understanding how individuals perceive science communication, make decisions on relevant topics (e.g., vaccines), and which information channels are their preferred ones to access science information.