Americans Motivations for and Barriers to Engaging with Science

A ball of energy with electricity beaming all over the place.

A study was conducted by Science Counts, ASTC, Listen Network, LabX, and Edge Research in order to determine what motivates and stops Americans from engaging with science. Key takeaways include:

  • Curiosity is the principal motivator for Science Interest across all segments of American society
  • While Curiosity and Connection are independent motivators of public engagement with science, they lift interest in different kinds of activities and vary in ratio between different racial/ethnic groups
  • Barriers to engagement related to feelings of belonging or identity have a greater impact on AA and Hispanic communities
  • Impact of barriers should be evaluated based not only on those who are deterred but also on those who are putting in extra work to participate despite the barriers

Read the full study here(PDF, 1MB).

We've long believed that curiosity is the starting point for scientific engagement. Our featured exhibit, Curious by Nature, explores this relationship between curiosity and learning through hands-on experimentation and discovery.