June 2021 Update: Phase II of the SFI Science in Ireland Barometer is currently underway. Via the research company Qualia Analytics, we are inviting participants from Phase I to complete a follow-up survey. This will be used to compare to results from Phase I regarding attitudes towards science/scientists and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland.

If you participated in Phase I of this research, we would be grateful if you would continue with Phase II. Please check your email for an invitation from survey@qualiaanalytics.org, which will issue the week beginning 28th June 2021. This survey will remain open for 6 weeks. If you participated in Phase I of the research, but don't receive an invitation the week beginning 28th June 2021, please contact survey@qualiaanalytics.org.

Questions about the purposes of this survey can be sent to barometer@sfi.ie. Any queries regarding your participation in this survey can be directed to survey@qualiaanalytics.org.

The SFI Science in Ireland Barometer 2020 is a survey and analysis of the Irish public attitudes to science. The results presented in the Barometer are important in informing all stakeholders who are working to support and stimulate greater public engagement and dialogue on science. 

Qualia Analytics were commissioned to carry out this study on behalf of SFI, to cover a range of topics designed to help SFI, the scientific community and broader stakeholders to understand the landscape of public attitudes about science. The findings presented in this report offer robust evidence about where Ireland stands in terms of the public’s relationship with science.  The study was carried out during the initial stages of impact of COVID-19 in Ireland.  A second phase of the study will be carried out during Spring 2021, for comparative purposes.  This will be published later in the year. 

An engaged and scientifically literate society continues to be a priority in the SFI Strategy 2025, Shaping Our Future where it can inform the two core ambitions: Delivering Today and Preparing for Tomorrow.  

Given the current pandemic when science is more relevant to people’s lives than ever before, it has been great privilege as Chair of External Advisors to feed into the SFI Barometer which provides such timely and comprehensive insight into the Irish public’s relationship to science.
Ethan Greenwood, The Expert Advisory Group to the SFI Science in Ireland Barometer

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SFI Science in Ireland Barometer 2020 Research Report

SFI Science in Ireland Barometer 2020 COVID-19 Report

For full data sets please contact barometer@sfi.ie. These will be made available on the webpage in the coming week.

The survey took place over two months in 2020, from 13th July to 13th September, across a representative sample of the Irish public. The aim was to gain an understanding of current public attitudes to science, build on the results from the 2015 Science In Ireland Barometer and to provide a comparison with  global monitors like the Wellcome Trust Global Monitor. This methodology applied used stratified randomised sampling to reach home addresses across Ireland via postcard, with responses to these invitations received online through a survey. These responses were weighted in line with data from the Central Statistics Office.  

The 8 topics raised in the 2020 survey included: 

  • Attitudes towards Science and Scientists 
  • Trust in Science and Scientists 
  • Perceptions of Science 
  • Perceptions of Science in Public Policy 
  • Perceptions of Science in Society  
  • Self-Perception of Science Capabilities 
  • Media Behaviour  
  • Attitudes to Science, Scientists, Policy and Media during COVID-19  

Phase II of the Science in Ireland Barometer will take place in April 2020 and will revisit the COVID-19 question block from the same participants one year on from the beginning of the pandemic.