This essay will evaluate some questions and the quantitative data in Public Attitude to Science (PAS) 2011 with regard to the secondary analysis of the issue of science activities such as science festival, public meeting and debate in science. My research questions are mainly that: To what extent, are people interested in science activities? What makes people attend science activities? In this respect, this essay will focus on the Q17-19 in PAS 2011 (See Appendix A), which are relate to popularity of scientific and non-scientific activities.
PAS 2011 is the fourth governmental study in the repeated survey started in 2000. Ipsos MORI and the British Science Association (BSA) conducted it on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The purpose is looking at how people feel about science, scientists and science policy. A quantitative survey of 2,103 UK adults over 16 years old was conducted between 11 October 2010 and 19 December 2010. 1,798 interviews with all age adults were taken place as the main stage survey, whilst additional interviews with the age of 16-24 people were carried out as a booster survey. In the face-to-face, in-home interviews, Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) software was used. In terms of sampling, a random location quota survey design was employed as well as in previous PAS surveys in 2000, 2005 and 2008. For the main stage and the young people booster, 202 and 62 sampling points were selected, respectively. The 35-40 minutes questionnaire as a whole was designed through consultation with the PAS steering group and testing in a pilot survey. In this survey, the response rate was not calculated due to the methodology. According to the report, the UK public is widely supportive of science and has curiosity to know more.
In terms of the advantage of secondary analysis, the biggest one is to save secondary analysts’ time, effort and money because of accessing much larger and higher-quality samples than researchers using primary data would normally have (Bryman, 2012; Hakim, 1982). In particular, official statistics
In secondary analysis, methodological concerns are validity and reliability which is based on issues of consistency of measures (Bryman, 2012). The margins of error in PAS 2011 are 5 percent, which is a common significance level in social science research, and weighting data by some categories such as gender, age, ethnicity, job status and social grade, as a guide of statistical reliability and weighting tables are provided as appendix of PAS 2011 report. Thus, it makes this survey valid and reliable statistically. Moreover, one of the pros of PAS 2011 is the possibility to examine changing of public attitude to science through three previous surveys. In terms of the question forms, closed questions such as Q17-19 (see Appendix A) are easy for participants to answer and convenient for analysts to organize response, whilst the lack of answer might possibly happen because...