Background/Situation

We're living in a new age of "science skepticism." People around the world are showing signs that they are beginning to question and challenge the credibility and value of science. Perhaps this is due to the overwhelming volume of scientific information now readily available to everyday consumers in the information age. Or, to the increasing politicization of science, effectively casting doubt and stirring vigorous debate. Either way, this polarizing undercurrent of "disbelief" stands to jeopardize not only a future pipeline of talent needed to solve the world's many great challenges, but also future science-based public policy and research funding. That's of monumental concern to the science community as innovators and creators of solutions intend to make the world a healthier, safer and more sustainable place.

Enter global science, technology and manufacturing leader 3M, a company whose portfolio of products touches every aspect of life headlined in its corporate brand statement: "Science. Applied to Life." 3M saw the widening divide and devaluing of science in public conversation and wanted to learn more. PR's investigation revealed there was no current defining data to gauge the world's evolving sentiment toward science.