Investire in ricerca è sempre più una priorità per gli italiani, ma non mancano i giudizi critici

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Presentata in anteprima a Torino la nuova edizione dell’Annuario Scienza e Società 2010, curato da Observa – Science in Society grazie al sostegno della Compagnia di San Paolo e pubblicato da Il Mulino.

La ricerca sale tra le priorità di investimento degli italiani (dal 16% al 23%), ma restano giudizi critici sulla sua organizzazione.

Aumenta la sensibilità dei cittadini per gli investimenti in ricerca: investire in questo settore (23%) è ora considerato più importante che in aree quali la sicurezza. Solo assistenza sanitaria e istruzione scolastica superano la ricerca in termini di priorità di spesa pubblica. Per gli italiani il settore di ricerca prioritario in materia di investimenti resta quello delle energie rinnovabili (46%, con un trend crescente), seguito dalle ricerche sui mutamenti del clima (12%, con un trend decrescente) e dalle biotecnologie (9%).

In particolare, due giovani su tre (65%) ritengono che il proprio governo dovrebbe investire di più in ricerca (un dato molto superiore alla media europea, 39,8%).

Nel 2009 l’alfabetismo scientifico degli italiani registra un lieve miglioramento, anche se permangono lacune rilevanti: quasi i due terzi non sanno che gli elettroni sono più piccoli degli atomi.

Stabile l’esposizione a contenuti scientifici nei media, con la tv che si conferma il mezzo più utilizzato. In crescita il ricorso a siti web e blog per informarsi su scienza e tecnologia, un incremento visibile soprattutto nella fascia di età più giovane: tra i 20-29enni oltre uno su tre naviga con una certa assiduità sul web a caccia di notizie scientifico-tecnologiche. L’11 % degli articoli pubblicati sui quotidiani online trattano temi scientifico-tecnologici: il monitoraggio di Observa indica un’attenzione focalizzata soprattutto sui temi dell’IT, della medicina e della fisica.

Aumenta di poco anche la frequentazione di musei e mostre dedicate alla scienza, incontri e dibattiti pubblici con scienziati – sale però anche la partecipazione a proteste o mobilitazioni su temi scientifico-tecnologici. Secondo Massimiano Bucchi, professore di Scienza Tecnologia e Società all’Università di Trento e tra i curatori dell’Annuario, «sono segnali di una crescente consapevolezza della rilevanza della scienza non esente da ambivalenze e giudizi critici». La fiducia negli scienziati resta elevata: tre italiani su quattro si fidano soprattutto di loro su questioni rilevanti che coinvolgono scienza e tecnologia. Oltre due italiani su tre credono però che scienza e tecnologia stiano cambiando “troppo velocemente” il nostro stile di vita e si riconoscono nel cosiddetto ‘principio di precauzione’, ritenendo che se non c’è certezza che una tecnologia sia innocua, sia meglio rinunciarvi, almeno temporaneamente.

Resta infine molto critico il giudizio su alcuni aspetti organizzativi: per il 63% sarebbero le raccomandazioni, più che il merito, a guidare il reclutamento dei ricercatori in Italia.

Leggi i comunicati stampa in formato pdf:

Risorse umane e nuove generazioni: le sfide per la ricerca italiana ed europea nei dati dell’Annuario Scienza e Società 2010

Investire in ricerca è sempre più una priorità per gli italiani, ma non mancano i giudizi critici

Leggi anche il contributo di Helga Nowotny, Presidente dell’ERC – European Research Council:

25 anni di Public Understanding of Science – e adesso?

Per informazioni, Ufficio Stampa Observa: 0444 305454; observa@observanet.it


L’Annuario Scienza e Società, giunto quest’anno alla sesta edizione propone, in forma sintetica e accessibile, una raccolta ragionata di informazioni e dati provenienti dalle più accreditate fonti nazionali e internazionali, utili per comprendere lo stato e le trasformazioni della ricerca e dell’innovazione nella nostra società. Ancora più ampio, quest’anno, lo spazio dedicato alle più recenti tendenze nel rapporto tra scienza, media e opinione pubblica: «Gli italiani, la scienza e le questioni bioetiche», con i nuovi dati dell’Osservatorio Scienza e Società; «La scienza fa notizia. Primo rapporto su scienza e tecnologia nei quotidiani italiani»; «Scienza e nuove generazioni», un’analisi comparata in chiave internazionale degli orientamenti degli studenti italiani verso scienza e tecnologia; «Vent’anni dopo: tendenze nel rapporto tra cittadini e scienza in Italia ed Europa, 1989-2005». I dati dell’Osservatorio Scienza e Società sono raccolti tramite rilevazione CATI su un campione di 1020 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 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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