How does the public build their opinions and beliefs related to scientific issues?

How does the public build their opinions and beliefs related to scientific issues?

Author: Isabel Mendoza-Poudereux – Universidad de Valencia, Spain, Spain


  • Lorena Cano-Orón – Universidad de Valencia, Spain
  • Carolina Moreno-Castro – Universidad de Valencia, Spain
  • Empar Vengut-Climent – Universidad de Valencia, Spain

According to the existing data, the scientific consensus should drive science-related policies. However, some controversial topics (GMOs, climate change, vaccines, CAMs, etc.) have shown us that is not always the case. Public opinion may also be a driven force and even the main one to contribute to the development of public policies. Understanding how the (sometimes significant) gap between scientific consensus and popular beliefs is generated could help minimise said controversies and ease the development of science-related programs.

The CONCISE project (Communication role on perception and beliefs of EU Citizens about Science) is working to shed light on this matter by holding five citizen consultations with 500 people, in five different EU countries: Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

Through these consultations, researchers aimed at gaining a more in-depth insight into the public understanding of science and identify current science communication models that will reveal indicators that might help improve science communication. Similarly, the project will allow understanding how individuals perceive science communication, make decisions on relevant topics (ex, vaccines), and which information channels and sources are their preferred ones to access science information.

The analysis of all the data obtained will allow us to produce, among other results, six policy briefs addressed to help policy-makers overcome the gap between scientific consensus and popular beliefs.

The visual presentation will describe the methodology developed for the project and share the first CONCISE results.

The CONCISE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824537.

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

Presentation type: Visual presentation
Theme: Transformation