Open Access

Scientific and Technological Progress, Political Beliefs and Environmental Sustainability


With the development of science and technology, a basically optimistic ideology of progress has emerged. This deterministic attitude has been challenged in recent decades as a result of harmful side-effects generated by the way technology and science have been approached and used. The study presented here is a part of a larger international and comparative study dealing with global/environmental issues related to political orientation, science and technology. 3 080 pre-service teachers from Finland, Greece, Sweden, Japan and Holland answered a closed-end survey instrument. The results of this study show that none of the sample country respondents identified themselves as optimists concerning the impact of science and technology on society and environment. The no-stance and the pessimistic attitudes towards technology and science seem to derive from the human and environmental costs associated with science and technology development. A strong connection was found between environmental consciousness and attitudes towards the role and impact of science and technology on society. These results indicate that society and education, in particular, should place higher critical concerns about scientific and technological issues and their relation to the development of a sustainable society.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Education, other