Innovation and intellectual property: the citizens’ tendencies


The debate on investments in research and innovation is more and more associated, also in Italy, with the discussion on rights to access and use the research results.

The 2009 data illustrate a relevant shift in the attitudes of Italian public opinion, which are now more oriented to acknowledge rights to have a wider and free access to products such as drugs to treat malaria (70.6% hold the view that it should be possible to access them freely, independently from the economical interests of some individuals or institutions/factories that have produced them) or energy-saving technologies (71.2%).

The call for a wider access to products is less present if we move to consider medicines able to improve sexual performance, software technology and digital music. However, it is still worth mentioning that even in these fields a drift has been registered in the direction of “free access”, those who are willing to acknowledge an economic benefit to the composer of a musical track have lowered from 60.3% to 53.7% between 2007 and 2009.

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Read the article published on Novà 24 – Il Sole 24 Ore, by Massimiano Bucchi.

The Science and Society Monitor is since 2002 the first permanent monitor of Italian public opinion and attitudes towards science and technology issues. The Monitor is an initiative by Observa – Science in Society, supported by Compagnia di San Paolo.

CATI survey conducted on a sample of 1020 subjects, stratified by gender, age and geographical area of residence, representative of the Italian population aged 15 and over.

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.