In the last two weeks of September, more than 3,000 Swedish pupils will be out on the hunt, with their mobile phones at the ready. Pokémon? No, notice boards! In the Notice Board mass experiment, researchers and pupils will be undertaking pioneering research together.
Despite the Swedish public being aware of the extensive media coverage about the researcher Paolo Macchiarini, trust in researchers remains high, according to a new survey conducted by the Swedish non-profit association Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA (Public & Science).
The Swedish public’s trust in researchers at universities is rising. 84 percent say that they have fairly or very high trust, compared with 74 percent in the previous year. Nine out of ten Swedes believe it is important for the public to be involved in research and more than half would like personally to get involved, particularly in health research. These are some of the findings from the annual VA Barometer conducted by Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).
Sunil Kumar Ramamoorthy, a researcher in renewable plastics at the University of Borås, has won the Swedish 2015 Researchers’ Grand Prix and the title of Sweden’s best science communicator. Sunil’s presentation about plastics manufactured from corn, soybeans and flaxseed captivated both the audience and the jury at the final in Stockholm.
On 25 September it’s time for the European science festival Researchers’ Night that is taking place in 300 cities throughout Europe. In Sweden 27 towns are inviting schoolchildren and the general public to meet scientists in a range of activities, including workshops, science shows, science cafés and behind-the-scenes tours of research labs. The aim of Researchers’ Night is to show that scientists are ordinary people with extraordinary jobs.
Most Swedes have a high confidence in scientists. There is also widespread agreement that investment in research leads to a better society for all, according to a new report published by VA (Public & Science) and the SOM Institute at the University of Gothenburg.
Swedish children and teenagers are pretty diligent at eating fruit and vegetables, according to the results of a mass experiment organised as part of Researchers’ Night. In the Vegetable Experiment, scientists at the Swedish National Food Agency enlisted the help of over 5500 pupils, who acted as research assistants for a day. Carrots and apples top the list of most eaten vegetables and fruit.
Is it possible to read the future in tea leaves? This is what scientists at Umeå University are hoping to find out and they are now looking for school classes across Sweden to participate in a mass experiment that will help to inform climate change research. The so-called ‘Tea Bag Experiment’ is part of the European science festival, Researchers’ Night.
Public confidence in scientists is falling in Sweden, especially among Swedish men. There is also a decrease in the number of Swedes who believe that scientific developments are improving their lives. At the same time, one in two Swedes are keen to get involved in research to tackle major societal challenges. These are some of the findings from the latest barometer conducted by Swedish non-profit organisation VA (Public & Science).
For a majority of the Swedish population, the mass media is the most important source of information about research. When public confidence in scientists and research dipped for a couple of years around 2010, the Swedish organisation VA (Public & Science), together with the SOM Institute at the University of Gothenburg, decided to investigate whether the way the media reports science could be one reason for this decline in confidence.