Nearly 80% of Europeans say they are interested in scientific discoveries and technological developments, compared to 65% who are interested in sports, according to a Eurobarometer report published in June.
Over 70% of Europeans want to see the expansion of EU-funded research in the future, even if it brings no obvious immediate benefit, and most consider that cross-border collaborative research will play an increasingly important role in society. However, only 10% consider themselves well-informed about science.
The survey found that nearly 60% think scientists should put more effort into communicating about their work and 65% believe governments should do more to interest young people in scientific issues.
Europeans overwhelmingly recognise the benefits and importance of science but many also express fears over risks from new technologies, the power that knowledge gives to scientists and human rights issues linked to science.
The survey was conducted between 29 January and 25 February with face-to-face interviews with 31,243 people in 32 European countries.