Corona crisis reenforces Flemings’ faith in science

The 2020 Science Barometer, a survey of society’s attitudes towards science, has found that Flemings’ trust in science has been strengthened since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Since early March scientist such as Marc Van Ranst, Pierre Van Damme and Erika Vlieghe have made almost daily appearances on television, on radio and in our newspapers. Not only have epidemiologists, virologists and medical statistician become household names in Flanders, but the faith Flemings have in what they have to say has increased since the onset of the epidemic. 

Almost half of the Flemings surveyed as part of the Science barometer study say that they consider science to be more important than they did before the start of the coronavirus crisis.  The 2020 Science Barometer is the third such survey to have been conducted. This time the researchers paid particular attention to the effect that the coronavirus crisis has had on people’s faith and trust in science.

Those that carried out the survey say that “Flemings already had a lot of interest, faith and trust in science, but this has been increased still further”.  

"Seven out of ten Flemings say that their trust in science in general has remained the same as it was before the corona crisis. One in five say that it has even increased. The belief in what scientists say has also increased among one in five Flemings. Almost half of Flemings say that they now have a greater realisation of the importance of science to society than was the case before the corona crisis”.

The Flemish Science Minister Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat) told VRT News that “The coronavirus crisis has had a positive impact on the belief in science. This provides a boast to the aim of increasing support within society for an expansion of scientific research”. 

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