American Academy of Arts and Sciences Releases Perceptions of Science in America report

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has released the first in a series of publications from the Public Face of Science initiative, Perceptions of Science in America. Drawing on available data that “paint a picture of a heterogeneous [American] public whose perceptions are dependent on context and values,” the goal of the report is “to increase awareness of these nuances among science communicators, advocates, and researchers so they can better understand their audiences when developing outreach programs, messaging strategies and educational materials.” The initiative’s website also provides additional resources, such as a PowerPoint version of the report and figures from it in JPEG, PDF, or PPT format. The report is divided into three sections of key takeaways on 1. General Perceptions of Science, 2. Demographic Influences on General Views of Science and 3. Case Studies of Perceptions on Specific Science Topics. Section 3 contains particularly relevant findings and questions for designers, evaluators and researchers of informal STEM learning or science communication experiences and settings. One example is a recent study on the impact of science curiosity on political information processing. Subsequent reports will highlight the numerous ways that individuals encounter science in their everyday lives and present recommendations for improving the practice of science communication and engagement.  


Read the report here