Public relationship with science in South Africa: tabulation report based on the 2013 round of the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS)

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2014
TITLE AUTHOR(S): B.Roberts, J.Struwig, M.Ngungu, S.Gordon
KEYWORDS: PUBLIC OPINION, SCIENCE, SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL ATTITUDES SURVEY (SASAS)
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD), Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8126

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

This report is one of the outputs associated with the HSRC Education and Skills Development (ESD) research programme's ongoing work on the Public Relationship with Science (PRS) in general and the Youth into Science project specifically. A module of 30 questions capturing different aspects of the public relationship with science was developed and fielded as part of the eleventh round of the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), conducted in the last quarter of 2013. This drew on the experience of the 2010 SASAS round, which included an experimental PRS module commissioned by ESD. The SASAS series has been administered by the HSRC on an annual basis since 2003. It is a nationally representative sample survey of adults aged 16 and older that investigates public's attitudes, beliefs, behaviour patterns and values in the country. The long term aim of this survey programme is to construct an empirical evidence base that will enable analysts to track and explain the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns of the country's diverse populations. The survey round occurred shortly after National Science Week (NSW, 27 July - 3 August 2013), which is an annual countrywide initiative championed by the Department of Science and Technology and implemented by SAASTA that aims to celebrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI). The intention of NSW is to promote a general awareness of the value of STEMI to people's daily life. Linked to the general objectives of NSW, the SASAS PRS module was designed with the purpose of exploring: * what the public thinks about science (attitudes) and scientists in South Africa, * how interested the public is about science, what are the sources of information for the public * the perceived impact of science on society, in terms of its impact on entertainment; culture, and on the economy; * perceptions of science as a school subject and a career choice; and * whether and how, public attitudes have evolved since previous PRS studies. * Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about Square Kilometre Array (SKA)/study of the universe