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2019 State of Science Index Summary

  • 3M State of Science Index Survey: does science matter? Find out what the world thinks

    For the second year, 3M shared unique insights from our original research. The State of Science Index is an independent survey that explores global attitudes toward science, taking the pulse on how people think and feel about the field and its impact on the world around us.

    Why did we continue our research? We are a science-based company that wants to solve society's biggest problems. To do so, we need to understand what the world thinks of science—and the role it plays in society—because it could impact the future. Understanding attitudes toward science can inform how we build a better and healthier world.

  • The world needs both science advocates and science communicators

    What we found is that the world needs more science advocates: Based on our 2019 findings, only 20% of the world stands up for science when debating its merits with other people, meaning 80% do not.

    Despite what we’ve seen, 87% of people acknowledge we need science to solve the world’s problems. Our theory is that they don’t stand up for science simply because they don't realize there's a need to.

    Part of the issue is that science and scientific findings are often communicated in language that’s inaccessible to the everyday person. In fact, 88% believe that science should be sharing results in easy to understand language, and 84% think scientists should make science more relatable to people’s everyday life.

    But that’s not all we learned. Explore below to uncover some of the other major findings from the 2019 State of Science Index.

What we learned

  • Explore the insights

    You can access The State of Science Index data to see attitudes to science and we invite you to explore insights country-by-country through our explorer tool. We hope you’ll share and discuss the research. What do you think they mean to science today and in the future? View the 2019 survey explorer.

  • 2019 Methodology

    3M’s State of Science Index presents original, independent and nationally representative research conducted in 14 countries among the general population, including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, UK, US. More than 1,000 respondents over the age of 18 in each of the 14 countries participated in this survey. Since 2018, it has been one of the largest, most global studies to explore attitudes to science and enables 3M to track and benchmark shifts in attitudes about science over time, using this first year as a baseline. Data from this research can be viewed as a 14-country, global average, or individually by country. At the 95% confidence level, the margin of error is +/- 0.83 percentage points at the global level and +/- 3.1 percentage points for each individual country. To compare results year-over-year, a 12-country tracking average was used - as France and Saudi Arabia were replaced with South Korea and Spain - which has a margin of error of +/- 0.9 percentage points.

  • woman in science lab on computer - 3M state of science index podcasts

    Science Champions podcast series

    In our Science Champions podcast series, we discuss issues related to the global perception of science with some of the brightest minds in the field.

    View archive and listen to podcasts