25.11. Bioenergy knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes among young citizens – from cross-national surveys to conceptual model

 

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of bioenergy

Doctoral candidate: MSc Pradipta Halder

Time and venue: 25.11.2011 at 12 noon, Agora AG100, Joensuu Campus

Language of the public examination: English

This dissertation has investigated young students’ knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes related to bioenergy with the help of cross-national data and used statistical models to explain their intentions to use bioenergy. A self-constructed survey instrument was used in the study to collect data from 15-year-old 1903 school students in Finland, Taiwan, Turkey, and Slovakia.

The study found that the majority of the students appeared to have basic level of bioenergy knowledge, whereas only a minority among them demonstrated a higher level of such knowledge. The students appeared to be very critical in their perceptions of forest-based bioenergy production; however, they demonstrated their positive attitudes to bioenergy including their intentions to use it. It became apparent that the students with a higher level of bioenergy-knowledge were more critical in terms of their both perceptions of and attitudes to bioenergy than those with a shallow knowledge of it.

The study has found that school, home, and media discussions of bioenergy, as perceived by the Finnish students, have significant effects on their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes related to bioenergy. The study found three key dimensions from the cross-national data depicting different facets of the students’ perceptions of and attitudes to bioenergy. The conceptual models based on regression analysis revealed that the students’ intentions to use bioenergy in general could be explained by considering their perceptions of the societal aspects related to bioenergy.

It is recommended that the bioenergy policy makers and professionals must raise the awareness of bioenergy among young students in our society and regard them as an important target group while formulating bioenergy policies. The results of this research support the idea of increasing collaboration between bioenergy policies and bioenergy education strategies for school students.

The doctoral dissertation of Master of Science, Mr. Pradipta Halder, entitled Bioenergy knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes among young citizens – from cross-national surveys to conceptual model will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The opponent in the public examination will be Dr. George Dyer of the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, and the custos will be Professor Paavo Pelkonen of the University of Eastern Finland.

Photo available for download at http://www.uef.fi/vaitoskuvat

 

For further information, please contact: Pradipta Halder, pradipta.halder@uef.fi, tel. +358407470711

Publishing year: 2011

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