Research Object: The Russian population's perception of innovation.
Research Purpose: To study changes in the Russian adult population's perception of innovation during the period of 2009-2012; the specific features of Russia, compared with other countries; and the factors affecting the perception of innovation.
Empirical Base of the Research: Two datasets of representative surveys of the Russian population ("Innovative Climate" surveyed 1,703 people aged 16 years and older, and "The perception of innovation" interviewed 1,600 people aged 18 years and older) conducted by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center in November 2011 and December 2011, as well as the time series data of similar surveys conducted in 2009 (the first cycle of the monitoring), and of earlier surveys (1995-1997), and results of similar studies in other countries, published in Special Eurobarometers and recent reports made by the U.S. National Science Foundation in Science & Engineering Indicators.
Research Results: The study has confirmed some of the emerging trends of the previous monitoring cycle. Negative assessments of the national science and education system are growing, ie the basic (fundamental) areas for the national innovation system. The prestige of professional scientific activities remains low (the ratio of positive and negative attitudes in the academic careers of their children – 42 to 43%, and among young people 35% to 48%). The prestige of the teaching profession is very low, although it remains in an upward trend (if in 2003 only 19% of the respondents had positive attitudes, in 2006 the percentage was 21%, in 2009 – 29%, in 2011 – 31%). The prestige of the occupation of programmer (the proportion of positive and negative responses has held steady at the same level since 2003, and in 2011 it was 60 to 25%) and of engineer (53 to 33%) are much higher. The measurement was conducted for the first time in 2011.
In the behavioural aspect, Russians continue to be conservative – the time series observations fix low attractiveness to innovative products, especially new foods.
Implementation of the Research Results: Monitoring results are regularly published in statistical databooks (Indicators for the Information Society and Information Society Outlook – topics about ICT usage by individuals; Science and Technology Indicators – public attitudes toward science, technology and innovation; Indicators of Education in the Russian Federation – participation of the population in lifelong learning and Education in Figures – public attitudes toward education, etc). Monitoring results were analyzed in articles devoted to problems of Russian innovation development (“Attentive Public for Science and Technology: 'New' Stakeholders or 'Last' Technocrats?” (Sociology of Science and Technology, 2012, No. 3 – in Russian); "Empirical Evidence on User-Oriented Innovation in Russia" – a draft of the HSE electronic preprint in English; and “Awareness of New Technologies as a Measure of Risk Perception: Sketches of a Cross-country Analysis” – an article being prepared in English). Monitoring results of the 2011 study "Skills for Innovation" were presented at the IV Russian Congress of Sociology in Ufa and at the second forum of the International Sociological Association in Buenos Aires.
Dr. John E. Jankowski, PhD, Director of the Research and Development Statistics Program, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics , U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF); http://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_bio.jsp?lan=jjankows&org=NCSE&from_org=NCSE