What do todays scientists think of their posts? The media (and much casual gossip) suggests that scientists as a group are dissatisfied and demoralised, and believe that science is going down-hill. Politicians and many decision-makers feel that science is now at a premium, that morale is high, and that our future prosperity depends on it. They insist that scientists are doing very well. This survey looks at your attitude to your job, and your sense of well-being. Ring the answer you would choose for each question, and feel free to add comments if you wish. Your name and address may be added, but feel free to remain anonymous if you prefer.
1) The government speaks of wealth creation and
links this to Technology Foresight. Wealth creation is a major
purpose of research in science.
(a) True 64 (b) False 134 (c) Not applicable 38
2) Science has retreated into increasingly narrow
specialities. Interdisciplinary science is now in need of
(a) True 192 (b) False 42 (c) Not applicable 4
3) The governments Scrutiny Report fails to show any
regard for science, says the Royal Society. But in
reality, the governments science policy is far-sighted and
(a) True 2 (b) False 226 (c) Not applicable 9
4) Politicians say we are in a new era of forward-looking
policy and decision-making. Science is now more soundly based
than ever before.
(a) True 4 (b) False 224 (c) Not applicable 10
5) Let us consider children and their attitude to science.
Youngsters find science - as a subject - essentially boring and
(a) True 108 (b) False 118 (c) Not applicable 0
6) Students do not choose science as a career because they
believe the pay and security are poor.
(a) True 222 (b) False 12 (c) Not applicable 0
7) Most scientists feel they are more highly valued, trusted
and highly respected than they were a generation ago. Morale is
(a) True 4 (b) False 230 (c) Not applicable 4
8) The Association of University Teachers claimed, after a
recent survey, that some scientists were not receiving due pay
increases. Have you received yours?
(a) Yes 80 (b) No 102 (c) Not applicable 54
9) Current policies have a positive and beneficial effect on
(a) True 2 (b) False 102 (c) Not applicable 8
10) Pure research has been in competition for resources with
applied investigation in recent years. But pure research is
definitely holding its own.
(a) True 20 (b) False 202 (c) Not applicable 12
11) Management increasingly controls the direction and funding
of science. But the rôle of managers is disruptive and negative.
(a) True 166 (b) False 34 (c) Not applicable 34
12) Science is rooted in personal freedom. Academic freedom
considerably increased during your time in science.
(a) True 8 (b) False 206 (c) Not applicable 18
13) Imagine that a young relative asks your advice about
becoming a scientist. In todays climate you would advise
(a) True 168 (b) False 64 (c) Not applicable 6
14) Science, for many scientists, was a childhood ambition.
Your career has almost completely matched your hopes.
(a) True 70 (b) False 150 (c) Not applicable 14
Years in Science:
See also: main bibliography, report entitled National Science, Weak and original article