Science and Technology in Israeli Public Opinion

In early 2006, Prof. Ephraim Yaar of Tel Aviv University submitted the findings of a survey he conducted on "Science and Technology in Israeli Public Opinion", commissioned by the S. Neaman Institute. The survey examined different ways that the Israeli public relates to the place of science and technology in Israeli society. The survey examined several issues, including: the importance of maintaining a level of science and technology in Israel, national pride in the areas of science and technology as compared to other areas, professional/occupational priorities in science and technology compared to other professions in the country, the level of trust in institutions supplying science and technology information, etc.


The findings of the survey indicate:


1) There is an extremely broad consensus among the Israeli public regarding the importance of science and technology; that they are critical to Israel's security, economic development and quality of life for its citizens. Israel's achievements in science and technology are also an important source of national pride, above the country's accomplishments in other areas, including its national defense capabilities. Based on these findings, there seems to be a discrepancy between the importance placed on science and technology by the Israeli public, and by Israeli policy-makers, as reflected in the diminishing resources allocated for their promotion, as well as the gradual deterioration over the last few years in the position of higher education institutions in this country.


2) In light of the relatively high prevalence of irrational beliefs, a systematic and broad effort should be made by the education system to expand the awareness and understanding among the Israeli public of the significance of science and the values that lie at its core.


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