In search of differences and similarities in relation to the role and location of science in European societies, we use empirical information from 37 countries as a platform for developing typologies concerning dimensions of science in society. These capture clusters of countries and reveal significant heterogeneity across Europe, providing a point of departure for international learning, while also demonstrating the challenges that the European institutions face in their promotion of a European Research Area, shared priorities and a common model of science in society. Combining national-level and individual-level data, we further show a connection between national differences and the public’s satisfaction with their own role as participants in science and technology. In countries where science communication culture is weak, where science plays a minor role in policy-making, and where institutions and procedures for public involvement are weak, citizens are comparatively less contented with their own involvement in science and technology.
Science and Public Policy, 2012, Vol 39, Issue 6, p. 741-750