COVID-19 is shifting the way people around the globe view science – for the better. In 2018, 3M launched the State of Science Index (SOSI) to benchmark public trust in science, and, for the first time in three years, skepticism is declining.
The pandemic has pushed many people to voice their desire for more data, more research, more knowledge. In fact, this year’s SOSI study reveals that 78 percent of people surveyed across 11 countries believe science plays a critical role in solving public health crises.
Collectively, we’re coming to the consensus that science can help spark conversations and solutions.
Pandemic pulse check
People often ponder, watch or read about science, but the pandemic has cemented its prominence in the public sphere. Now, more than ever, the world is waking to the relevance of science in everyday life. This is especially true when it comes to solving health challenges.
Over the past few years of the SOSI survey, two key societal issues have repeatedly risen to the top: healthcare and the environment. Eighty-percent of people rank finding a cure for COVID-19 and health care solutions as the leading concern, followed by 62 percent of people desiring cures for ongoing diseases, like cancer and heart disease.
As the global community works to combat COVID-19, the public believes science should be a shared priority and responsibility; more people are adhering to evidence-based advice. According to the study, 82 percent of people believe negative consequences result when others do not value science and 92 percent believe that peoples’ actions can help contain the virus. Survey respondents also remain hopeful that science may safeguard against other health crises, with 61 percent saying science can help prepare for future pandemics.
Not far behind the desire for effective cures and pandemic preparedness is a longing to protect the planet.
Fifty-one percent of people rank using science to mitigate the effects of climate change as a top priority. In health care, the correlation between human health and environmental health is well documented. Chronic exposure to wildfire smoke, for example, can lead to health complications like heart and lung disease.
SOSI results indicate that as public health and environmental challenges rise, trust in science-based solutions increases.
Using science to improve every life
At 3M Health Care, we use the power of 3M Science to help make better health possible for people around the world. We are committed to taking actions that will help secure a more sustainable future for all.
From offering tips to help reduce your healthcare facility’s carbon footprint to collaboration with leading companies pursuing therapies and vaccines, we continually look for ways to solve health challenges and share knowledge. Whether it’s thoughtfully-designed products that require fewer materials and reduce waste or technologies that improve personal protective equipment for clinicians, 3M Science is helping advance health around the world – and, ultimately, improve lives.
We know that science has the power to make life better for people around the globe, and we couldn’t be more encouraged by the results of this year’s 3M SOSI survey.
We’ll send a roundup of our science and innovation stories each quarter.
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