Research on energy and environment? Yes, please!


On Nova24 – il sole24 the new Science in Society Monitor’s data about the priorities of research according to Italians

by Federico Neresini

One Italian out of six (16%) considers scientific research as the utmost priority in the allocation of public resources: share that is predictably smaller than the one indicating as the priority investments in healthcare (one Italian out of three), education or security (one Italian out of five).

If we explore what research sectors should be the priority for investments, Italians give quite clear indications.

The issues of energy and the environment, also with regards to climate change, collect alone over 60% of preferences: in particular, research on renewable energy sources shifts from 33% to 46%, compared to 2005.
Less appealing, with respect to 2005, sectors such as biotechnologies and nanotechnologies. Indication of research on nuclear energy as the priority remains stable and still regards the minority, despite the fact that the general diffidence towards this type of energy source results in sharp decline.
All the results and the methodological notes are available in .pdf format (in italian).

The above-mentioned data were presented and widely discussed in the essay Italians and Science. First report on science, technology and public opinion in Italy published with the Science and Society Facts and Figures 2008 (Ergon Edizioni, 2008).

(Translation by Sara Pascoli)