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Florida poll: Research important for state economy, jobs
Date:10/27/2011

WASHINGTON -- A majority of Floridians (87%) believe it is important for their state to be a leader in science and medical research, according to a new state poll commissioned by Research!America. The poll also shows that 80% think spending money on scientific research is important for Florida's economy in terms of job creation and incomes.

Many Floridians also believe the state should lead in science and technology education and career growth. An overwhelming majority (92%) believe education and training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is important to U.S. competitiveness and economic prosperity. Eighty-seven percent think it is important for their state to encourage young people to pursue careers that require a solid education in science and 88% say their state should create more opportunities for careers in science and research for its young people.

The Florida poll findings were released today at a forum on science journalism at the Embassy Suites Tampa-USF convened by Research!America, Pfizer and the University of South Florida (USF).

"Scientists have a responsibility to tell the public just how intricately tied the research enterprise is to their state's economy," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America. "When research funding slows, medical progress stalls, health care costs rise and jobs are lost."

"There needs to be a culture change in the sciences that's integrated into the educational process of future scientists," said Jay Dean, PhD, professor and interim chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology at the University of South Florida. "We have to learn to effectively and concisely communicate in a technologically advanced age what we do and why it matters to the public."

Despite their strong support for research Floridians do not feel well-informed about research-related issues. More than 80% cannot name a living scientist. Sixty-percent wou
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Contact: Suzanne Ffolkes/Research!America
571-482-2710
Research!America
Source:Eurekalert

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