Do the public support the funding of medical research? What motivates people to seek information about medical research? What areas of medical research are they most interested in? What expectations do people have for future advances? Is the scientific process understood? How interesting is school science education? Are young people interested in a career in science?
Answers to these questions and many more can be found in the report of the first Wellcome Trust Monitor – a unique survey of UK adults’ and young people’s awareness of, knowledge about, interest in and attitudes towards medical research.
As well as incorporating the questions about medical research as administered to adults, the Monitor will also track changes in young people’s (aged 14-18) attitudes to school science education, motivations and barriers to learning science and perceptions of careers in science more generally.
The Wellcome Trust Monitor is unique in that it:
• focuses on medical research and its applications
• provides detailed inter-generational data and comparisons by including both adults and young people
• will provide reliable tracking data and determine trends over time in relation to public awareness, knowledge, interests and attitudes to medical research.
The survey will be repeated every three years in order to contribute to and build a unique evidence base that will make it possible to explore trends and variations over time on both the core themes and specific issues related to medical research and science education.
Further information about the Monitor, including the full report written by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), is available at www.wellcome.ac.uk/monitor