Author: Martin W Bauer – London School of Economics and Politital science, United Kingdom


  • Bankole Falade – Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Luke Yuh-Yuh Li – National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
  • Petra Pansegrau – Bielefeld University, Germany
  • Carmelo Polino – Centro Redes (Argentina) and University of Oviedo (Spain), Argentina
  • Ahmet Suerdem – Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

Science is universal, but science culture remains local. The cultural authority of science is globally variable. Within this complex of research, a perennial question concerns the relationship of general attitudes as a horizon for specific issues, often controversial at least in some world regions, such as vaccination. The Wellcome Trust’s Global Monitor offers a unique platform to assess this issue on a global scale of 144 countries (n=144,000 interviews, conducted 2018). This symposium will re-examine this data using the PREK model [promise, reserve, engagement and knowledge) of science attitudes with focus on different world regions (Bauer & Suerdem, 2016 and 2019). Knowledge indicators include ‘self-confidence’ and ‘image of science’, engagement indicators are ‘information seeking’ and ‘polyphasia science & religion’; promise is assessed by utility assessments of science, and the key reserve index is ‘vaccination hesitancy’. The five speakers will each assess the complex of these four indicators in a world region and examine the specifics of the culture of science in that world region. Geography is not destiny, so socio-economic indicators will be coming into the frame of analysis. The symposium will be commented on by Petra Pansegrau (Uni Bielefeld) and Rajesh Shukla (Price, Delhi).

Introduction: Cultures of Science and the Wellcome Global Monitor: a conceptual re-analysis

Martin W Bauer (LSE)

Communicating risk of vaccination in East and Southeast Asia: society, science, and cognitive polyphasia

Luke Yuh-Yuh Li (Taiwan)

Trust in science and religion as indicators of polyphasia across sub Saharan Africa

Bankole Falade (Stellenbosch)

Attitudes to science across South and North America- Alaska to Tierra del Fuego

Carmelo Polino (Oviedo, Spain)

Linking subjective and objective indicators of science culture on the Silk Road: A multilevel analysis

Ahmet Suerdem (Bilgi Istanbul)

Discussants: Petra Pansegrau (Bielefeld, Germany) & Rajesh Shukla (Delhi, India)

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Linked papers
Theme: Transformation

Author: Martin Bauer, LSE, United Kingdom

Co-author: Ahmet Suerdem (Bilgi University); Rajesh Shukla (Delhi); Li Yuh-Yuh Luke (Taiwan)

This panel addresses trends in and evaluating the effects of public communication of S&T in society.

National surveys of attitudes have been conducted since the 1970s; this effort is a global one, but with little comparisons beyond headline figures. Longitudinal evidence is now available which deserves the attention of PCST scholars and practitioners. This panel will address three questions arising from such comparisons of attitudes:

  1. Can we assume a universally stable structure of attitudes to science? Probably not. Ahmet Suerdem (Istanbul) and Rajesh Shukla (Delhi) will examine this question over 6-waves of Eurobarometer surveys since 1989 across 32 European countries, and three nationwide Indian surveys (2005, 2008 and 2015) and suggest that we need to consider different structures of attitudes for different contexts (1D, 2D or 3D).
  2. Considering longitudinal evidence in any one context, what are the main shifts? Yuh-Yuh Li (Kaoshiung) will examine changes in the context of Taiwan since the beginning of the new millennium, when the Taiwan attitude series started. The Taiwanese surveys are comparable to Eurobarometer, but in addition explore interesting issues that are locally specific to Taiwan.
  3. In the long-run, generational cohorts influence on how people relate to science: what is the evidence? Having longitudinal measures across 12 EU countries in Eurobarometer, 1989-2012, allows to create the cohort variable in contrast to biological age. Martin W Bauer (LSE) will examine the generation question of science attitudes in EU12 states and compare the evidence as to a consistent cohort
    effect controlling for period and level of education. In some countries the intensive engagement with science culture seem to be vested in the post-war and Baby boom generation, in other countries, this orientation is the privilege of the youngest generations.

The panel will address these questions also within a view of an EAST-WEST perspective.