The Contribution of Bulgarian Science to the Development of Society as Reflected in the Public Opinion

Emilia Chengelova

Abstract

 

The article analyzes the assessments of the Bulgarian population regarding the contribution of science and scientific research in Bulgaria to the development of eight main areas of public and economic life: a) the production of goods and services; b) the making of rational and effective management decisions; c) the regulation (improvement) of social relations in Bulgarian society; d) enhancing the prestige of Bulgaria as a society; e) safeguarding the authorities against irrational decision-making; f) enhancing the self-esteem of the nation; g) protecting the natural environment; and h) preserving the national historical and cultural heritage. The assessments obtained are based on general notions that people entertain regarding the role and significance of science for the life of society. The analysis proposed indicates that Bulgarians are particularly sensitive, and have well-structured opinions, regarding the actual contribution of science to the development of society in our times.

Bulgarians today have preserved their traditional ‘National Revival’ attitude to science as a sphere of high value and an inseparable part of the nation’s economic and cultural progress. The respondents link this very closely to building up a positive image of Bulgaria before the world and to preserving the unique features and cultural wealth of the Bulgarian ethnos.

Along with this, mass consciousness clearly defines areas in which the contribution made by science is only moderate or distinctly inadequate. The possibilities for improving the existing situation are sought for mostly in the more effective application of scientific achievements to management processes through expert opinions, through the elaboration of strategies, policies and measures, and through concrete political decision-making. More care and attention is needed for enhancing the scope of practical application of research results for improving the quality of life and the production of material goods.