Role of science growing in Russians' eyes - poll

The role of science has grown in the eyes of the Russian public. Now two-thirds (62 percent) believe that scientific studies yield useful discoveries. The indicator stood at 42 percent in 1989, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said.

The role of science has grown in the eyes of the Russian public. Now two-thirds (62 percent) believe that scientific studies yield useful discoveries. The indicator stood at 42 percent in 1989, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said.

The opinion was mostly expressed by university students (67 percent) and young respondents aged from 18 to 24 (64 percent), The center polled 1,600 adults in 132 populated localities.

Over a third of the respondents (39 percent) said science was vital for progress of humankind (vs. 26 percent in 1989).

Forty-two percent believe that science is hard work (vs. 36 percent in 1989). The rates were the highest in Moscow and St. Petersburg (54 percent) and amongst well-to-do respondents (50 percent).

In the opinion of 32 percent (vs. 18 percent in 1989), scientific studies further knowledge, 22 percent say science transforms the world as a whole and 14 percent say it helps foresee the future.

In turn, 12 percent see science as a way to achieve a certain social status and only 6 percent adhere to selfless work for higher purposes.

A tenth of respondents claim scientists are searching for the truth.

The share of negative opinions is not large: only 3 percent claimed that science meant false ideals, "sinister forces" and idle talk; 2 percent said it was a waste of money and 1 percent said science destroyed beauty and belief.

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