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Russians claim to know a lot about science though read little about it — survey

February 08, 2016, 15:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Education, nuclear energy and space exploration suffered from the greatest decline in interest

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© National Research University "Higher School of Economics"

MOSCOW, 8 February. /TASS/. Russians do not show much interest in the information about science and technology, however, being convinced of their awareness about the topic, tells the survey conducted between 1996 and 2015 by the Moscow-based Higher School of Economy.

Public interest in scientific issues was permanently growing between 2006 and 2011. This trend reversed dramatically in 2014 showing the decrease of interest to all the fields except international policy and IT. Education, nuclear energy and space exploration suffered from the greatest decline in interest.

This attitude toward science among Russians remained generally positive during the whole period of observations: the majority of Russians keep believing that science does more good than harm. Some 42% of Russians are fairly well informed about science and technology advances. For this indicator, Russia ranks 11th compared with 28 countries in Europe, where a similar survey was conducted.

At the same time 27% of Russians stated that they are not interested in information about science and technology being asked the question about the sources of such information. This indication puts Russia to the 5th place from the end compared to the European Union. The share of those who read popular science press in Russia is four times less than in Europe in general.

"Russians largely advance the positive attitude to science: even with declining level of interest in scientific issues the image of science itself generally positive. On the other hand, they are not very actively involved in the popular science discourse ", says Konstantin Fursov, the head of the monitoring of the project.

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