Who engages with science, and how? An empirical typology of Europeans’ science engagement

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Abstract

This article seeks to expand the literature on science attitudes by developing an empirical typology of people’s engagement choices and investigating their sociodemographic characteristics. Public engagement with science is gaining a central role in current studies of science communication, as it implies a bidirectional flow of information, which makes science inclusion and knowledge co-production realizable goals. However, research has produced few empirical explorations of the public’s participation in science, especially considering its sociodemographic characteristics. By means of segmentation analysis using Eurobarometer 2021 data, I observe that Europeans’ science participation can be distinguished into four types, disengaged, the largest group, aware, invested, and proactive. As expected, descriptive analysis of the sociocultural characteristics of each group suggests that disengagement is most common among people with lower social status. In addition, in contrast to the expectations from existing literature, no behavioral distinction emerges between citizen science and other engagement initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Volume32
Issue6
Pages (from-to)798-814
Number of pages17
ISSN0963-6625
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • citizen science
  • cluster analysis
  • public engagement
  • science publics
  • stratification

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