Le neuroscienze secondo gli italiani

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I nuovi dati dell’Osservatorio Scienza Tecnologia e Società di Observa, presentati a Venezia in occasione della Seventh World Conference on The Future of Science.

La maggior parte dei cittadini ha grandi aspettative nei confronti delle neuroscienze, soprattutto a livello terapeutico: il 71,6% degli intervistati ritiene che possano individuare una cura per malattie come il morbo di Alzheimer o il morbo di Parkinson. Più di sei su dieci confidano che con queste ricerche si possa comprendere lo sviluppo del linguaggio umano.

D’altra parte, la maggioranza degli italiani attribuisce alle neuroscienze un campo d’azione molto ristretto. Solo due su dieci ritengono che esse possano trattare in modo rilevante dipendenze comportamentali come alcolismo e tossicodipendenza. Ancora inferiore (appena uno su dieci) la quota di intervistati secondo cui le neuroscienze dovrebbero occuparsi di fenomeni come tristezza e infelicità, innamoramento e affettività, coscienza. Solo il 4,6% reputa le neuroscienze capaci di studiare in modo significativo la spiritualità.

Su temi come questi, il pubblico ridimensiona notevolmente il ruolo delle neuroscienze rispetto a quello di altri ambiti. Gran parte degli intervistati, soprattutto di sesso femminile, considera la psicologia la disciplina più adatta a indagare quasi tutte le suddette questioni. Fa eccezione la spiritualità, riconosciuta come ambito caratteristico della religione. Per quanto riguarda lo studio di affettività e coscienza, anche il ruolo assegnato alla filosofia è più importante di quello ascritto alle neuroscienze.

Osservando le differenze tra le fasce di pubblico, si nota che le attese verso le neuroscienze aumentano con la crescita di istruzione, alfabetismo scientifico ed esposizione alla scienza nei media: oltre tre su quattro tra i più istruiti e competenti si aspettano notevoli conseguenze terapeutiche. Tuttavia, in certi casi, la priorità di competenza attribuita alle neuroscienze subisce una flessione proprio tra i più informati e alfabetizzati.

Secondo Massimiano Bucchi, professore di Scienza Tecnologia e Società all’Università di Trento e fra i relatori della Seventh World Conference on The Future of Science iniziata domenica a Venezia, «la percezione collettiva delle neuroscienze vive – forse in modo ancora più evidente – una dicotomia che è caratteristica della rappresentazione pubblica della scienza, soprattutto in Italia. Alle rilevanti aspettative sul piano pratico, fa da contraltare un debole orientamento a riconoscervi un interlocutore capace di affrontare e rispondere alle grandi questioni».

I risultati dell’Osservatorio Scienza Tecnologia e Società sono stati presentati a Venezia in occasione della Seventh World Conference on The Future of Science.

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Fonte: Observa Science in Society, Osservatorio Scienza Tecnologia e Società 2011, www.observa.it/observa/observa

Fonte: Observa Science in Society, Osservatorio Scienza Tecnologia e Società 2011, www.observa.it/observa/observa

L’Osservatorio Scienza Tecnologia e Società è dal 2002 il primo monitoraggio permanente delle tendenze e degli orientamenti dell’opinione pubblica italiana nei confronti di ricerca e innovazione tecnologica. L’Osservatorio è un’iniziativa di Observa Science in Society, con il sostegno della Compagnia di San Paolo.

Rilevazione CATI su un campione di 1.001 casi, stratificato per genere, età e ripartizione geografica, rappresentativo della popolazione italiana con età uguale o superiore ai 15 anni.

Observa Science in Society è un centro di ricerca indipendente senza fini di lucro, legalmente riconosciuto, che promuove la riflessione e il dibattito sui rapporti tra scienza e società, favorendo il dialogo tra ricercatori, policy makers e cittadini.

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