Table 7-A
Public expectations for future scientific achievements within next 25 years: 1979 and 1981
(Percent)
 
  Attentive public   Interested public   Nonattentive public
How likely do you think it is that researchers will achieve… in the next 25 years or so? 1979
(n = 289)
1981
(n = 637)
1979
(n = 292)
1981
(n = 617)
1979
(n = 839)
1981
(n = 1,940)
 
  Percent responding "very likely"
A way to predict when and where earthquakes will occur 72 63   54 63   46 NA
More efficient sources of cheap energy 81 74 60 65 50 NA
A cure for the common forms of cancer 58 59 48 61 43 NA
A way to put communities in outer space 28 21 18 23 13 NA
New ways of effectively reducing the crime rate 14 NA 17 NA 14 NA
A way to economically desalinate seawater for human consumption 64 63 47 63 39 NA
An economic theory to control inflation and reduce unemployment NA 20 NA 28 NA NA
 

NA = not available, question not asked

SOURCE: Miller JD, The American People and Science Policy: The Role of Public Attitudes in the Policy Process, New York: Pergamon Press, Inc. (1983).

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010