Dr. Nick Allum

"To know science is to love it". Or is it?

Tuesday, 31 March 2009, 16:00, Large Operon

Dr. Nick Allum, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

The "deficit model" of public attitudes towards science has led to controversy over the role of scientific knowledge in explaining lay people's attitudes towards science. Is it true that 'to know science is to love it'? For instance, if publics were more informed and knowledgeable about genetics, would consumer acceptance of GM food be greater than it is today? In this paper, I will provide an overview of empirical work that I have carried out over the past few years that examines the relationship between knowledge and attitudes towards science, and in particular the results of a meta-analysis of survey data from 40 countries.

Dr. Nick Allum is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Essex, where he mainly teaches research methods. His research interests are primarily in public understanding of science, risk perception and social and political trust. He has published widely in these areas in journals and books.