Published June 3, 2024 | Version Version 1. Watermarked
Project deliverable Open


  • 1. ROR icon Centre for Social Innovation
  • 2. ROR icon Trilateral Research & Consulting


This deliverable reports the results of a vignette survey study carried out in four European countries (Austria, Cyprus, Greece and Spain) with 155 citizens. Our objective was to explore whether methods addressing societal mistrust in science that were identified in previous VERITY deliverable D3.2 (Focus groups with Stewards of Trust investigating and evaluating methods to guide trust in science) work differently for two citizen groups with varying levels of trust in science. Our main assumption was that four key methods identified in D3.2, namely science communication, co-creation, benefit sharing and social media, would work differently for Group 1, consisting of younger (18-30 old), more educated, urban citizens, and for Group 2, consisting of older (50+ old), less educated, rural citizens.
Our results confirm our main hypothesis and indicate that Group 1 and Group 2 differ from each other both in terms of their initial position towards wind farms and how they respond to the different methods to enhance trust in science. Group 1, in general, perceives wind farms and all the related methods more positively than Group 2. Benefit sharing is the most important method with the highest impact, and it makes both groups more favourable towards wind farms. While science communication and co-creation are important methods to enhance Group 1’s trust in science, they are not as effective in Group 2. We also found that social media had almost no overall impact on both groups.
While our results seem to be similar across different gender groups, women seem to be generally more positive, while benefit sharing had significantly greater impact on Group 1 men, compared to all other respondent groups. While science communication and co-creation are important methods with positive impact for Group 1, they are less relevant for Group 2. In addition to gender, social class and internet use tend to positively affect the perception of wind farms and the effectiveness of the related methods in Group 2. Being member of the working class, and using the internet less frequently had a positive effect on the attitude of elderly respondents.
Our findings have practical implications for all stakeholders involved in planning, designing and implementing methods addressing societal mistrust in science. We found that women might be reached out through a number of methods under various circumstances, while men should be more specifically targeted with a few key methods, in particular benefit sharing or co-creation. Men, especially in Group 2 are more likely to stick to their original opinion (the specific methods tend to have a smaller effect) so it could prove harder to use appropriate strategies to raise their trust in scientific questions. We confirmed the D3.2 conclusions about the importance of tailored solutions according to the target group, and the usefulness of benefit sharing and co-creation (citizen engagement) as methods potentially effective for a wide variety of citizen groups. Our results indicate that relevant population characteristics, e.g., gender, social class or internet use might affect the substantially general attitude towards wind farms and the specific methods. Further study is warranted to understand the underlying reasons for distinct perceptions in homogenised groups to design appropriate methods addressing mistrust in science.


D3.3_Report on vignette study- Watermarked.pdf

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