Scientists? May merit and transparency prevail

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Recently, in many statements the importance of an instrument like the so-called ‘cinque per mille’ (5 ‰) has been quite rightly stressed. The clear willingness of citizens to sustain research also corresponds with an increasing demand for transparency with regards to the institutions involved. In fact, Italians are extremely critical of organizational processes in the world of science: eight out of ten complain about the extreme conditioning of research institutes by politicians and more than 60% think that you have to pull strings in order to make career, even in the scientific field.

Furthermore, there is a widespread feeling that researchers could do more towards involving the public in their own activities and results in a more systematic way. Expectations of meritocracy and accountability which will need to be heard in the future in order to encourage citizens to make the leap towards research.

This article was published in Nova24, the scientific supplement of the newspaper Il Sole 24 ore on Thursday, November 15th, 2007.

The Science in Society Monitor is an initiative by Observa Science in Society supported by the the Foundation Compagnia di San Paolo.
The research supervisors are Massimiano Bucchi (University of Trento), Federico Neresini and Giuseppe Pellegrini (University of Padua), in association with Valeria Arzenton.

The survey was conducted by means of CATI-method telephone interviews with a sample of 998 subjects, stratified by gender, age, and geographical area of residence, and representing the Italian population aged 15 and over