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Interest dips in science and technology

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The European Commission released the report Young People and Science (here in pdf). The report is dire reading for Sweden as it ranked lowest of all EU-members when 25 000 youths between 15-25 years were asked about their opinions on science and technology. For being a country reliant on innovation just 20 per cent recorded interest in ICT developments, in first-ranking Latvia it was 63 per cent.

The study reports that many Swedish youths think that inventions in informational technologies, medical sciences, space exploration and environmental sciences are important for the future and their lives. It seems that they do not see any role for themselves in those developments. To a certain degree it is a factor of science becoming more complex, you cannot describe how a technological gadget works by writing on the back of a napkin anymore, as technology more features a "black box" approach. The freedom to tinker and play is very important. But in order to explain the low figures for the interest is also how science is communicated by teachers and journalists. That change of opinion is more important than acquiring new computers in the schools. Then science reporting needs to get more open, more social and more active in choosing the subjects and not leaving over lead stories to general reporters. That is something for EUSJA to address, and for politicians to build a platform on.

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