Amid a health crisis that is unique in its dimension and impact, the importance of expertise, evidence-based action and, above all, trust in science is becoming clear. The University for Continuing Education Krems and the University of Graz have conducted a study on the Austrian population's trust in science. This study was the subject of a background discussion with its authors at the Presseclub Concordia in Vienna on 19 May 2022.
Even if public discourse suggests otherwise: About three-quarters of respondents said they trust science in health care. However, the picture is different when it comes to trust in decisions: Only slightly more than half of the population believes that health policy decisions are evidence-based.
About the study
For this large-scale study, 2,571 online interviews were conducted between 2-16 March 2022 (CAWI, Marketagent). People aged 14 to 75+ were surveyed comprising of four thematic blocks. Parts 1 and 2 deal with attitudes towards the Austrian healthcare system and European cooperation, and part 3 looks at trust in science and policymaking. The study was conducted as part of the Austrian Democracy Lab project run by the University for Continuing Education Krems and the University of Graz. Scientists from other institutes and universities were also invited to collaborate on selected questions.
Christina Hainzl, University for Continuing Education Krems
Patricia Oberluggauer, University for Continuing Education Krems
Isabella Juen University of Graz