Attitudes to spirituality among engineering, technical and medical professionals

Online survey into perceptions of spirituality among science, engineering, technical and medical professionals in the UK, Germany and France.

The author(s)

  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs
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An online survey, commissioned by The Scientific and Medical Network, looked into perceptions of spirituality among 3,000 participants (c1,000 in each country) who work in the science, engineering, technical and medical occupations. 

The survey reveals that among those who took part:

  • Around three in ten participants in each country who took part in the survey considered themselves to be a member of an organised religion and just over one in ten said they were spiritually inclined.
  • Around a quarter of participants described themselves as atheists (25% in the UK; 29% in France and 24% in Germany) while roughly another 16% overall described themselves as agnostic (21% in the UK, 17% in France and 11% in Germany).
  • Roughly one in three (34%) of those who answered the survey in the UK, and a quarter of participants in France and Germany agreed that religion or spirituality was important to the way they live their lives.
  • Half the respondents saw religion and science as independent realms that cannot be compared (47% in the UK, 49% in France and 44% in Germany) and around a fifth saw them as complementary. A quarter in the UK, and a fifth in France and Germany said they contradict each other. Views were similar on the relationship between science and spirituality.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI conducted interviews in the United Kingdom, France and Germany with respondents aged 18+ who are science, engineering, medical or technical research professionals.  The surveys were conducted online between 28-30 November in the United Kingdom with 1,003 respondents, 2-5 December 2016 in France with 1,020 respondents and 29 November – 3 December in Germany with 1,000 respondents. Respondents are members of the Ipsos Interactive Services online panel and were recruited to take part in this survey based on occupation data gathered from previous surveys they have taken part in. The profile of the survey reflects those who chose to take part and is therefore not weighted. The samples contained a roughly equal representation of men and women. 

The author(s)

  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs

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