Public Perceptions of Physics

In late 2007, the physics in society team commissioned People Science and Policy Ltd to undertake some research to find out what adults in the UK really think about physics.

Public Perceptions of Physics

The research found that whilst the majority of adults (78%) agree that physics makes a valuable contribution to society, 20% did not know what to say when asked ‘what comes to mind when I say physics?’ and 46% could not answer the question ‘what do physicists do?’. It also found that people’s perceptions of physics were very much linked to their experiences at school. However, there is also some evidence that adults in the UK aren’t as disinterested in physics as might be thought – we just need to get them talking about the physics that is relevant to them.