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Survey: More Chinese believe in power of science

By He Wei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-06-23 13:52
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Children interact with a robot during an expo in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. [Photo by Zhai Huiyong/For China Daily]

More Chinese believe in the power of science in driving a better future than people in 16 other countries in a latest science-themed survey by US corporation 3M.

Whether being hopeful that science will save us from the pandemic - 97 percent agree versus 85 percent globally – or believing science will be the reason 2021 is better than 2020, with 98 percent agreeing versus 87 percent globally, more Chinese appreciate what science can do, according to the 2021 3M State of Science Index released last week.

Starting in 2018, the company regularly polls around 1,000 residents in each of 17 select countries including China, the United States, Mexico and Germany to discover people’s sentiments toward science, and how the results could shed light on science education and actions from the private sector.

“As attention turns to vaccines, people say they are counting on science to get the pandemic under control. This is especially true in China, where science is taking the reins to steer the future in the right direction,” said Mr. Jack Xiong, head of R&D Operations for 3M China.

Pointing to a promising post-pandemic future, a high proportion (91 percent) of Chinese agree young people are more engaged in science and science-related issues than ever before, compared with 69 percent globally.

The latest survey also suggested a rising interest in subjects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM), with 96 percent of Chinese agreeing that the world needs more people pursuing STEM-related careers. The global reading was 90 percent.

Due to the pandemic, nearly nine in 10 people in China are more inspired to pursue a STEM career. Meanwhile, only 60 percent of people globally said they want to do so.

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