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Dynamic development of public attitudes towards science policymaking

Keisuke Okamura
Public Understanding of Science 2016, 25 (4): 465-79
Understanding the heterogeneity of mechanisms that form public attitudes towards science and technology policymaking is essential to the establishment of an effective public engagement platform. Using the 2011 public opinion survey data from Japan (n = 6,136), I divided the general public into three categories: the Attentive public, who are willing to actively engage with science and technology policymaking dialogue; the Interested public, who have moderate interest in science and technology but rely on experts for policy decisions; and the Residual public, who have minimal interest in science and technology. On the basis of the results of multivariate regression analysis, I have identified several key predispositions towards science and technology and other socio-demographic characteristics that influence the shift of individuals from one category of the general public to another. The findings provide a foundation for understanding how to induce more accountable, evidence-based science and technology policymaking.


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