Comprehensive coverage

74% of the public believes that the state invests too little in academic research

This is according to a survey by the National Council for Research and Development at the Ministry of Science on the occasion of National Science Day

Professor Alon Hoffman in the laboratory
Professor Alon Hoffman in the laboratory. Photo: The Technion - Appreciation of science among the public

A survey by the National Council for Research and Development at the Ministry of Science and Technology published ahead of National Science Day on March 14, 2012, found that the vast majority of the public believes that the government should invest in academic research and development. However, the majority of the public (74%) believes that the state invests too little in academic research.

The survey included 528 respondents, a representative sample of the population in Israel, and examined the perceptions and attitudes of the Israeli public on various issues related to the status of science and technology.

The survey also examined the Israeli public's perception of the status and prestige of the scientist profession. In the ranking of the level of prestige of various employment professions, the professions of doctors and scientists were ranked first and second. Engineers, teachers and then military officers were ranked after them by a significant margin. The lowest level of prestige is attributed to Knesset members. The survey shows that there has been an increase in the estimation of the prestige of the teaching profession, which was ranked 11th this year, compared to 2009th in XNUMX.

In response to the question of which profession you would recommend your child or grandchild to choose, it seems that most Israelis would still like their children to be doctors - 68% of respondents ranked this profession in first or second place. The second place in the ranking went to the profession of scientist (50% of the respondents ranked it first or second). In the following places were ranked engineers, senior businessmen and intellectuals and culture. To the last places in preferences, the professions reached members of the Knesset, social leaders, athletes, police officers, entertainers and journalists.

In assessing the contribution of the various professions to the strength of the country, the majority of the public believes that the contribution of doctors and senior scientists is the highest. After them, the contribution of senior technology and engineering personnel and senior military personnel was ranked. At the bottom of this ladder are leading entertainers.

According to the survey, 90% of the public believes that the government should invest in academic research and development and 71% believes that the government should also invest in the research and development activities of commercial companies. However, 74% of the public believes that the state invests too little in academic research, compared to only 9% who think that it invests too much. Moreover, about three quarters of the interviewees think that investment in science contributes to the country's resilience to a great extent or to a certain extent.

"It is encouraging to see that the public recognizes the importance of science and technology and thinks that there is a need to increase investments in these areas," said the chairman of the National Research and Development Council in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Prof. Col. Yitzhak Ben-Israel, in response to the data.

When the interviewees were asked which areas the government should invest in to ensure the growth of the economy, the public's preferences were in the following order: education, research in higher education institutions, transportation infrastructure, industrial research and development, military infrastructure, financial infrastructure and communication infrastructure.

The country receives a score of 7.90 on a 10-point scale for scientific and technological achievements. A large majority of the interviewees (79%) believe that relative to the size of the State of Israel, its level of achievement is similar to or exceeds that of most other developed countries.

"The data show the great importance attributed to education and research in institutions of higher education and the priority given to these studies over studies in industry" says Prof. Ben-Israel.

Additional data in the survey show that 72% of the respondents said they felt proud following Prof. Shechtman's recent Nobel Prize winning. Examining the distribution of answers by age shows that 95% of people over the age of 42 felt some or a lot of pride following the win, compared to 88% among those 42 and under.

About two-thirds (66%) of the interviewees think that the "brain drain" phenomenon is happening in Israel on a large scale and of them the absolute majority think that the phenomenon is harming the State of Israel. However, 69% of the interviewees believe that the State of Israel has not done enough to bring back the scientists staying abroad.

57% of the respondents believe that knowledge of science and technology is essential or necessary for them in their daily lives, a decrease of 9% from a similar survey conducted in 2009.

Only about half (51%) of the interviewees think that the achievements in the field of technology contribute to all strata of the population. A quarter of the interviewees (25%) think that the achievements contribute only to those engaged in technology, while the majority of them (21% of all interviewees) think that an advantage for this unique group contributes to alienation between them and others).

The scientific subject in which the percentage of people interested in Israel is the highest is the field of health (80% of respondents are interested), followed by the field of environmental quality (60% interested), computers and the Internet (50% interested), issues related to water (44% interested) and history and archeology (41% interested). It turns out that the share of women who are interested or very interested in health is significantly higher than men (82% compared to 72%).

In the ranking of the level of reliability of various sources, it was found that libraries and scientists in universities are considered the most reliable source of information. Then ranked in descending order: museums, people around the interviewee, Internet, scientific newspapers, public institutions providing services, radio, public lectures, television, daily press, scientists in government offices, clergy and scientists in commercial companies.

Most of the interviewees (83%) are sure or think that investing in education for the weaker sections will contribute to social justice. Also, two-thirds are either certain or think that it is justified to make affirmative action in education and invest more in the weaker sections.

The survey was conducted under the direction of Dr. Mina Zemach from Dafah Institute.

5 תגובות

  1. dear student

    If you knew how much the Israeli public pays for so-called religious practices
    Religious pursuits because the connection between their purpose and the commandments of religion and tradition is extremely weak and accidental,
    The main concern is hypocritical and saturated with money, honor, power, government, superstitions and corruption.

    The same extortionists are in favor of increasing the budget for science, technology, archeology, medicine, ballet, and the ball
    The army as long as it is only at the expense of the various others, the slaves, the workers, the servants, the fighters, the Zionists.

  2. In my opinion only, for good budgets for science and technological development, great pressure is needed.
    This pressure can only be exerted by the rich of the country who are close to the prime ministers and all the politicians and meet with them at every opportunity. The country's rich are smart people and will support the demands of Nobel laureates and brilliant academics. It is sacred work and everyone should cooperate.

  3. 1) How important is the opinion of the public here? Since when is this amorphous body knowledgeable about details?
    2) And for the lover of excrement and defamation: a gossip. But Schwinn.

  4. When 60 billion shekels go to the Ministry of Defense and the army every year, why should we be surprised?
    Not science, not education, not medicine, not welfare.
    And the truth, not security either. But Schwinn.

  5. Hi, this is Prof. Hoffman!

    It's good to know that most of the public thinks so. Now the governments need to understand.

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.