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Public Attitudes to R&D: Audience demographics

22 Jun 2023

This briefing considers demographic differences in attitudes to R&D in CaSE’s Discovery Decade 2022-23 public attitudes study, comprising four nationally-representative surveys polling a total of 18,000 people and 14 focus groups. It includes statistics and the opinions of focus group participants, and looks at the extent to which age, ethnicity, socioeconomic group, gender and location are differentiators of opinion. It makes the following key observations:

  • Age was one of the strongest differentiators of opinion, with younger groups less likely to see R&D’s benefits or support investment
  • There are few notable differences between parents with different age children, or between parents and non-parents
  • Our evidence suggests that women are generally less positive towards R&D
  • Those in socioeconomic group DE are less likely to feel R&D’s benefits
  • There is no strong evidence from our dataset that ethnicity is a significant differentiator of opinions towards R&D
  • There are few major differences in attitudes between UK regions or urban and rural locations, but place is a strong connection point for R&D