The new edition of the volume edited by Observa – Science in Society thanks to the support of Compagnia San Paolo and published by Il Mulino Italy is the 32nd among OECD countries in terms of number of researchers and staff employed in R&D. The average age of scientists and engineers in our country remains rather high: only 26% is younger than 34 years old. Italian researchers are quite successful in accessing European research funds, but half of them uses such funds to work abroad. These are just a few among several inputs for reflection offered by the 6th edition of the 2010 Science in Society Facts and Figures. Human resources are confirmed as one of the crucial matters for research and innovation in Italian society: researchers are just a bit more than 3 every 1000 workers, that is, about half of the European average (EU27). Moreover, scientists and engineers active in this field are among the least young in Europe: more than 41% is older than 45. Among the countries with the youngest personnel in scientific and technological fields, there are Turkey, Portugal and Spain, where almost half of it is younger than 34. The lack of balance between individual results and institutional performances is also stunning. This is clearly shown by the results of selections for the much sought-after financings of the European Research Council: young Italian researchers are in first place in Europe, with 32 selected projects, whereas if we look at the country of the host institution, Italy is in seventh place. Half of the Italian winners will lead (or are already leading) their research funded by the ERC outside Italy. To this fact we have to add the very strong devaluation of technical and manual work and competences that emerges among Italian students, in the last place for the most appreciated work features. According to Massimiano Bucchi and Federico Neresini, professors in Science Technology and Society respectively at the University of Trento and at the University of Padova, and editors of the Facts and Figures: “This result helps to understand why science is perceived as a mainly abstract entity by many Italian students and therefore far away from their interest”. Furthermore, according to a previous survey conducted by Observa on students aged 15, the tendency to enrol in a scientific degree course is three times larger among young people that have had the chance to use a science laboratory at school. Info at Observa Press Office: 0444 305454, email@example.com The Science in Society Facts and Figures, that has reached its sixth edition this year, suggests briefly and in an accessible way a reasoned group of information and data coming from the most credited national and international sources, useful in order to understand the status and the transformations of research and innovation in our society. Moreover, this year the room devoted to the most recent tendencies in the relationship among science, media and public opinion is even wider: «The Italians, science, and bioethical issues», with new data of the Science in Society Monitor; «Science makes news. First report on science and technology in Italian newspapers»; «Science and new generations», a comparative analysis of international spectrum of the orientations of Italian students towards science and technology; «Twenty years after: tendencies in the relationship between citizens and science in Italy and Europe, 1989-2005». Observa – Science in Society is a non-profit independent research centre promoting the study and the discussion of the interaction between science, technology and society, stimulating dialogue among researchers, policy makers and citizens.