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Attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among Swedish high school and university students

Persson, Erik LU ; Capova, Klara Anna LU and LI, Yuan LU (2019) In International Journal of Astrobiology 18(3). p.280-288
Abstract
The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among high school and university students in Sweden. The most important results of the analysis are that: (a) the great majority of students believe that extraterrestrial life exists; (b) most students regard searching for extraterrestrial life to be quite important or very important; (c) very few students think that we should actively avoid searching for extraterrestrial life; (d) the most common motive for assigning a high priority to search for extraterrestrial life is that it is interesting, the most common motive for assigning a low priority is that such knowledge would not be practically useful, or that the... (More)
The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among high school and university students in Sweden. The most important results of the analysis are that: (a) the great majority of students believe that extraterrestrial life exists; (b) most students regard searching for extraterrestrial life to be quite important or very important; (c) very few students think that we should actively avoid searching for extraterrestrial life; (d) the most common motive for assigning a high priority to search for extraterrestrial life is that it is interesting, the most common motive for assigning a low priority is that such knowledge would not be practically useful, or that the money would be better spent elsewhere; (e) most students do not think they are very well informed regarding the search for extraterrestrial life. A higher percentage of the students who judge themselves to be well informed also believe that extraterrestrial life exists. We have also found some differences between subgroups (men/women, high school students/university students and different fields of study), but the differences are with few exceptions small in comparison with the overall trends, and they mostly differ in degree rather than direction. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
International Journal of Astrobiology
volume
18
issue
3
pages
280 - 288
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85066075072
ISSN
1473-5504
DOI
10.1017/S1473550417000556
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1f3690b5-be30-42b0-aed2-d16b5e0b1da1
date added to LUP
2018-02-19 10:50:23
date last changed
2019-08-04 05:15:38
@article{1f3690b5-be30-42b0-aed2-d16b5e0b1da1,
  abstract     = {The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among high school and university students in Sweden. The most important results of the analysis are that: (a) the great majority of students believe that extraterrestrial life exists; (b) most students regard searching for extraterrestrial life to be quite important or very important; (c) very few students think that we should actively avoid searching for extraterrestrial life; (d) the most common motive for assigning a high priority to search for extraterrestrial life is that it is interesting, the most common motive for assigning a low priority is that such knowledge would not be practically useful, or that the money would be better spent elsewhere; (e) most students do not think they are very well informed regarding the search for extraterrestrial life. A higher percentage of the students who judge themselves to be well informed also believe that extraterrestrial life exists. We have also found some differences between subgroups (men/women, high school students/university students and different fields of study), but the differences are with few exceptions small in comparison with the overall trends, and they mostly differ in degree rather than direction.},
  author       = {Persson, Erik and Capova, Klara Anna and LI, Yuan},
  issn         = {1473-5504},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {280--288},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {International Journal of Astrobiology},
  title        = {Attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among Swedish high school and university students},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1473550417000556},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2019},
}