The STePS group (Science, Technology and the Public Sphere) was formed in the late 1990s and comprises researchers, projects and PhD students at the Department of Social Psychology who investigate the structure, dynamics and functions of public imagination in relation to scienfic and technological innovations. Public opinion in its many formats and forums has become a major factor of new technological developments; it creasingly makes or breaks the fortunes of scientific innovations. Public opinion is the focus of our attention, both as a powerful source and an elusive target of social influence.
Over the years, the group has conducted major international research projects including mass media analysis, multi-national opinion and attitude surveys, and comparative qualitative scoping of the streams of public imagination of science-as-such, or specific issues of the environment, nuclear power, genetic engineering, computing and IT, nanotechnology etc.
Members of STePS host the monthly London Public Understanding of Science Seminar series at the LSE, edit the international peer-reviewed Journal Public Understanding of Science, and have links with LSE's own Methodology Institute, BIOS, and Centre for Risk Analysis.
Contacts: Dr MW Bauer [coordinator], Professor G Gaskell
Download The Sense of Crisis among Science Journalist report 10th November 2009
Download The Environmental Competence of Science and The Public Understanding of Science
Martin W Bauer and Sue Howard published a report 'The Culture of Science in Modern Spain, 1989-2005', commissioned by the Fundacion BBVA. This report shows how public attitudes to Science have changed in Spain over the past 20 years in comparison to other European countries. A complex picture of the representation of science across generational cohorts emerges that mark the changing common sense in Spain. Read report