AUSTRALIANS URGE BUSINESS TO BACK SCIENCE
Nine in ten Australians want more people and businesses to stand up for and defend science - and think scientists are crucial to solving Australia’s biggest future challenges, the latest 3M State of Science Index finds.
Released to launch National Science Week 2023, the new data from the major study detects very strong levels of public support for science in Australia.
This year, 93% of Australians say positive outcomes can be achieved if more people stand up and defend science and 92% of Australians want to see business take action to defend science.
The Minister for Industry & Science Ed Husic MP will officially launch National Science Week 2023 at an event today delivered by Science & Technology Australia for Questacon and the Australian Government.
The theme for this year’s National Science Week schools program is Innovation: powering future industries.
The 3M State of Science Index measures public attitudes to science in 17 countries. More than 1000 Australians were surveyed for the large-scale global poll conducted by Ipsos.
Science & Technology Australia CEO Misha Schubert said the new data showed Australians overwhelmingly grasp how important science is to our lives, our safety, our economy and our ability to tackle complex threats.
“The very strong message out of this survey data is that Australians really want people to stand up for and defend science, and that includes wanting to see business stand up for science,” she said.
The survey highlighted how strongly Australians grasp the importance of science innovation to help tackle the impact of climate change - and that STEM professionals are key to solving the problems of tomorrow.
“In the last few years, from the Black Summer bushfires to the northern New South Wales floods, we’ve seen stark reminders of the threat that climate change poses to our nation and the world,” Ms Schubert said.
“This survey shows Australians back science and scientists to come up with climate solutions - including clever new ways to reduce waste, solar panels, eco-friendly building materials and more affordable electric vehicles.”
Eleni Sideridis, Managing Director of 3M Australia and New Zealand, said the survey showed the deep respect Australians have and their trust in science to tackle global and national challenges.
“3M’s State of Science research demonstrates that Australians understand and appreciate the connection between scientific innovation and the role it plays in improving their lives.
Encouragingly, about 9 in 10 (89%) believe science has a critical role to play in improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations, with a similar number (90%) believing companies should do more to make it easier on consumers to be more
“With Australians (94%) recognising the need for more skilled trade workers and a broad recognition that there will be negative outcomes if we cannot find a solution to the skills shortage, it is a vital time for all of us to encourage more school leavers into a science-based career.
“It’s positive to see that Australians recognise the importance to grow the participation rate of STEM education, with 4 in 5 (82%) agreeing that more needs to be done to encourage and keep students from underrepresented groups engaged in STEM education. This in line with 3M’s global goal to create 5 million STEM and skilled trades learning experiences by 2025,” Eleni said.
National Science Week will run nationwide from 12 to 20 August 2023, for more information about events, please visit https://www.scienceweek.net.au/. More information about 3M State of Science Index and the findings from across the globe can be found here.
Key Australian survey findings of the 2023 3M State of Science Index include:
- 93% of Australians believe positive outcomes can be achieved if people stand up for and defend science. 92% want business to take action to defend science.
- 92% of Australians say STEM professionals can help us solve the problems of tomorrow.
- 88% of Australians clearly see the connection between science and its role in improving their life.
- Australians believe innovation can address the future impact of climate change. Top technologies Australians believe can address future climate change impacts include innovative uses of resources to reduce waste (52%), followed by affordable solar panels (48%), planet-friendly alternatives to traditional construction supplies (44%), affordable electric vehicles and transportation (43%), natural disaster-resilient building materials (39%) and air pollution filtration technology (39%).
- 82% of Australians believe the world is better prepared for the next global health pandemic because of science.
- 94% believe the workforce needs more skilled trade workers, and urgently… as 94% see consequences if Australia can’t solve this shortage.
- 90% believe companies should do more to make it easier for consumers to be more sustainable.
- 81% think underrepresented groups are a source of untapped potential in the STEM workforce.
About Science & Technology Australia
Science & Technology Australia is the nation’s peak body representing more than 115,000 scientists and technologists. We’re the leading policy voice on science and technology. Our flagship programs include Science Meets Parliament, Superstars of STEM, and STA STEM Ambassadors.
About 3M and the State of Science Index
3M (NYSE: MMM) believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what's possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities and planet. Learn how we're working to improve lives and make what's next at 3M.com/news or on Twitter at @3M or @3MNews.
The 3M State of Science Index survey explores global attitudes toward science, taking the pulse on how people think and feel about the field and its impact on the world around us. This is our sixth year and seventh survey for SOSI. 2023 SOSI is a 17-country survey fielded September-December 2022 among 1,000 general population consumers in each country.
To arrange interviews:
Martyn Pearce, STA: 0432 606 828 and Charlotte Hartley-Wilson, ElevenPR: 0424 855 835