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INTRODUCTION 1 Considerable efforts have been undertaken in the United States to improve the public understanding of engineering (PUE). A survey by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2002 of 177 orga- nizations involved in public understanding of engineering activities revealed that they spend an estimated $400 million annually (NAE, 2002). However, the actual national investment can be assumed to be much higher, because the survey is believed to have reached only a frac- tion of the institutions that have PUE initiatives. Despite these efforts, the impact of engineering on our daily lives, the nature of what engineers do, and the opportunities available through an engineering education are still largely unknown to most Americans. Educational researchers have found that Kâ12 teachers and students generally have a poor understanding of what engineers do (ÂCunningham and Knight, 2004; Cunningham et al., 2005, 2006). Polling data comparing scientists and engineers show that the public sees engineers as being more responsible for creating economic growth and preserving national security than scientists, as well as more likely to make strong leaders. However, engineers are not perceived to be as engaged with societal and community concerns or to play as great a role 17
18 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION in saving lives (Table 1-1). And when the relative prestige of all profes- sions is tallied, engineering falls in the middle of the pack, well below medicine, nursing, science, and teaching (Table 1-2). Although engineers, engineering educators, and the organizations that represent them want people to have more accurate and positive impressions of them, there are other, more important reasons for improving the public understanding of engineering. Some knowledge about how engineering work is done, for example, is fundamental to technological literacy. To be fully capable and confident in a technol- ogy-dependent society, every citizen should understand something of the process of engineering and how engineering and science, among TABLE 1-1â Comparative Characteristics Associated with Engineers and Scientists, 2003 and 1998 Donât Decline to Â Engineers Scientists Neither Know Answer Creates economic growth 2003 69% 25% 2% 3% * 1998 51% 25% â 5% â 1% Preserves national security 2003 59% 29% 5% 6% â 1% 1998 36% 22% â 9% â 2% Would make a strong leader 2003 56% 32% 6% 5% * 1998 47% 28% â 8% â 3% Saves lives 2003 14% 82% 1% 2% * 1998 â 6% 65% â 3% 21% Is sensitive to societal concerns 2003 28% 61% 5% 5% * 1998 47% 57% â 8% â 3% Cares about the community 2003 37% 51% 5% 6% â 1% 1998 24% 46% â 9% 12% Note: Numbers from 1998 do not add up to 100 because respondents chose from three answers: engineers, scientists, and technicians. Some numbers from 2003 do not add to 100 due to rounding. *Less than 1 percent. SOURCE: Adapted from Harris Interactive, 2004.
Introduction 19 TABLE 1-2â Percent of Americans Who Rate Selected Professions as Having âVery Great Prestige,â 2006 Profession Percent Profession Percent Firefighter 63% Architect 27% Doctor 58% Athlete 23% Nurse 55% Lawyer 21% Scientist 54% Entertainer 18% Teacher 52% Accountant 17% Military officer 51% Banker 17% Police officer 43% Journalist 16% Priest 40% Union leader 12% Farmer 36% Actor 10% Engineer 34% Stock broker 11% Member of Congress 28% Real estate agent â 6% SOURCE: Adapted from Harris Interactive, 2006. other factors, lead to the development of technologies (NAE and NRC, 2002; AAAS, 1990). A number of important public policy issues, from global warming to the marketing of genetically modified foods, involve scientific and technical issues. Decision making on these and other topics will involve trade-offs, as we attempt to simultaneously manage limited resources while sustaining quality of life. Public discourse and the democratic process could be enhanced if citizens understood more about how engineers are trained and what the practice of engineering entails. Technological literacy also is important to consumer decision making. Americans are often the first adopters of new technologies, and part of that acceptance depends on understanding the engineering process. Thus improved public understanding of engineering could enhance consumer decision making. Improved public understanding of engineering may also support U.S. efforts to maintain our capacity for technological innovation, an issue that has received considerable attention recently (Council on Competitiveness, 2004; NAS et al., 2007; PCAST, 2004). Although there are many aspects of this challenge, two important conditions for sustaining U.S. innovative capacity are improving undergraduate engi- neering education (NAE, 2005a) and increasing investment in basic
20 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION engineering research (NAE, 2005b). Effective action in both areas will depend partly on how well policy makers and the public understand what engineering is and how it contributes to economic development, quality of life, national security, and healthâinformation that could be conveyed through effective messaging. A related concern is the rapid increase in scientists and engineers in other nations, particularly China and India. For example, the number of graduates with four-year degrees in engineering, computer science (CS), and information technology (IT) in China more than doubled from 2000 to 2004 (Wadhwa et al., 2007). However, because of differ- ences in methods of data collection and in defining engineering, it is difficult to compare the absolute numbers of four-year engineering degrees awarded in China and India to those awarded in the United States. In the 2003â2004 academic year, for bachelorâs degrees in engi- neering, CS, and IT combined, Wadhwa et al. (2007) estimate that the United States graduated 137, 437, India 139,000, and China 361,270. The overall number of engineering degrees granted in the United States, which had been dropping, has gone up in recent years, although not to its historic high in 1985 (Figure 1-1). According to one estimate, 80,000 75,000 70,000 65,000 60,000 55,000 50,000 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 NSF S&E Indicators ASEE Data w/o CS FIGURE 1-1â Engineering bachelorâs degrees awarded in the United States, 1983â2006. 1-1.eps Note: Bachelorâs degrees in computer science (CS) have been subtracted from the original ASEE data (Gibbons) to ensure comparability with NSF data. SOURCES: Gibbons, 2006; NSF, 2006a.
Introduction 21 the U.S. engineering workforce is expected to increase by 13Â per- cent from 2004 to 2014 (CPST, 2006). However, the accuracy of this p Â rojection will be affected by several factors, such as participation levels of foreign-born individuals in the U.S. engineering enterprise, the off-shoring of U.S. engineering jobs (NAE, 2008), and engineer retirements in such sectors as defense and aerospace. Thus it is very difficult to predict the long-term demand or supply of engineers in the United States. Although researchers and policy makers disagree on the nature and extent of the engineering âshortageâ in the United States, few dispute the need to attract capable students, especially girls and certain minori- ties, into technical careers. Women, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and some Asian American groups are significantly underrepresented in engineering, based on their proportions in the population at large (Box 1-1). If current demographic trends continue, by 2050 almost half the U.S. population will be non-white (U.S. Cen- sus Bureau, 2002). In the future, engineering solutions will have to be acceptable to this increasingly diverse population, and the engineering profession will have to draw more heavily on underrepresented groups for the country to maintain, let alone increase, its technological capa- bility (NAE, 2004). Thus messages that effectively encourage girls and underrepresented minorities to consider careers in engineering could be crucial to U.S. success and leadership in the future. Messages to Promote The Public Understanding of Engineering In the NAE report Raising Public Awareness of Engineering (2002), âmessage,â in the context of public relations, was defined as âa state- ment that helps convey a positive image, usually either of a company or a specific product.â In well-designed communications strategies, mes- sages are repeated over time, because public perceptions are influenced most by repeated exposure to consistently expressed ideas. Although neither engineering nor the public understanding of engineering is a corporate entity orâstrictly speakingâa product, messaging is nevertheless germane in this context. Indeed, effective messaging is a
22 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION BOX 1-1 Selected Data for Women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in Engineering Women Proportion of U.S. population, 2005 (est.): 50.7 percent Proportion enrolled in degree-granting institutions, 2004: 57.4 percent Proportion of bachelorâs degrees in engineering, 2004: 20.5 percent Proportion of tenured/tenure-track appointments on U.S. engineering faculties, 2005: 10.6 percent Proportion employed as engineers, 2003: 11.0 percent African Americans Proportion of U.S. population, 2004: 12.8 percent Proportion enrolled in degree-granting institutions, 2004: 12.5 percent Proportion of bachelorâs degrees in engineering earned, 2004 â 5.3Â percent Proportion of tenured/tenure-track appointments on U.S. engineering faculties, 2005: â 2.3 percent Proportion employed as engineers, 2003: â 3.1 percent Hispanics Proportion of U.S. population, 2004: 14.1 percent Proportion enrolled in degree-granting institutions, 2004: 10.5 percent Proportion of bachelorâs degrees in engineering, 2004: â 7.4 percent Proportion of tenured/tenure-track professors on U.S. engineering faculties, 2005: â 3.2 percent Proportion employed as engineers, 2003: â 4.9 percent Native Americans Proportion of U.S. population, 2004: â 1.0 percent Proportion enrolled in degree-granting institutions, 2004: â 1.0 percent Proportion of bachelorâs degrees in engineering, 2004: â 0.6 percent Proportion of tenured/tenure-track professors on U.S. engineering faculties, 2005: â 0.2 percent Proportion employed as engineers, 2003: â 0.3 percent SOURCES: NSF, 2005a, b, 2006a, b; U.S. Census Bureau, 2002, 2005; DOEd, 2006a, b.
Introduction 23 necessaryâalthough not a sufficientâmethod of promoting public understanding of engineering efforts. The 2002 NAE report catalogs a large number of messages on a variety of themes that organizations involved in public understanding of engineering have used to promote their activities. The four major themes are: the value and nature of engineering and engineers; the aca- demic skills necessary to pursue engineering as a career; employment opportunities in engineering; and the connection between engineering and quality of life. The number and variety of messages leads to several conclusions. First, no apparent effort has been made in the engineering community to develop consistent messages. Second, few organizations involved in promoting public understanding of engineering have developed their messages in a systematic, scientific way or tested the effectiveness of their messages. Third, no convincing evidence shows that messaging efforts to date have significantly improved public understanding of engineering. We know that a public image is not âeverything,â as the advertise- ment for Nikon cameras asserted more than a decade ago, but neither is it inconsequential. In the case of engineering, data collected for this project show that the public view of engineering is not strongly nega- tive. At the same time, the data suggest that public perceptions of engi- neering are based on a limited idea of what it takes to do engineering (e.g., skill in mathematics and science) rather than what it means to be an engineer (e.g., to work creatively in teams to develop technologies that improve peopleâs lives). Primer on Market Research: Lexicon and Methods A professional marketing firm was hired to ensure that the com- mittee took a professional approach to improving public understand- ing of engineering. In addition, committee members were obliged to learn marketing terminology. Learning the vocabulary for any subject requires not only memorizing terms, but also acquiring an understand- ing of the underlying concepts and methodology. In this section, we outline the essential terms and marketing concepts the committee used in preparing this report and recommendations.
24 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION Definition of a Brand In this project, we were looking for the best way to brand engineer- ing. Although the word brand seems familiar, it is used in a specific way in this report. By brand we mean an association of specific traits in a personâs mind that induces behavior. A simple way of understand- ing this concept might be as a warrantyâa promise to perform or deliver. For example, the McDonaldâs brand promises clean restau- rants and food of a known quality. We use this brand as a shortcut in decision making. For example, when traveling on the road, we rely on ÂMcDonaldâs promise to provide a quick, adequate meal. The same thing happens with brands in a grocery or hardware store. As we shop, we make quick judgments based on a brandâs promise or warranty. Contemporary marketing practice and theory support brand- ing that goes beyond traditional ideas of a product. For example, entire industries have attempted to remake their public image using branding techniques. The dairy industryâs âGot Milkâ campaign (www.Âbodybymilk.com) uses well-known sports and entertainment figures to cultivate a wholesome brand image for milk drinkers. Similarly, the Âcotton industryâs âFabric of Our Livesâ campaign (www.Â thefabricofourlives.com) ties a broad range of cotton-based products to aspects of daily life. Marketing has been used by public health officials to brand desirable behaviors, such as healthy eating in adults (i.e., the Food and Drug Administrationâs âCalories Countâ campaign; FDA, 2004) and exercise in children (i.e., the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionâs âVerb, Itâs What You Doâ campaign; www.verbnow.com). Some professions have a clear brand identity. Physicians, for examples, are âhealers.â Teachers are âeducators.â For professions that do not have a clear brand identity, the public may provide one. LobbyÂists and others operating in the political sector can be known as âinfluence peddlers.â And for those in public relations, derisive terms like âflackâ and âspin doctorâ are common. In the case of engineering, although negative terms like ânerdâ and âboringâ are part of the brand image, our research and research by others indicate the larger problem is a lack of understanding of what engineers do rather than a negative impression of the field. The actuarial field has a similar concern and has undertaken branding efforts to better communicate to the public how
Introduction 25 actuaries add value (Beuerlein, 2006). Nurses in the United Kingdom, concerned about their relatively low status and poor image, recently launched a âNursing the Futureâ campaign (www.nursingthefuture. org.uk/index.php). To attract students and counter the stuffy image of accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants developed the âStart Here Go Placesâ campaign (www.startheregoplaces. com). In this study, we considered the following brand attributes: brand message, the promise the brand communicates; brand image, how the brand is marketed; and brand experience, how the message is brought to life and made concrete. The Positioning Statement A positioning statement is essential for creating a brand. It lays out how one wants the brand to be perceived and provides the core mes- sage to be delivered in every medium. A typical positioning statement answers seven core questions about a brand: 1. Who are you? 2. What business are you in? 3. What people do you serve? 4. What are the special needs of the people you serve? 5. Who are your competitors? 6. What makes you different from your competitors? 7. What unique benefit does a user derive from your service or product? To illustrate how a position statement works, consider a high-end store like Bloomingdaleâs. The position statement (Beckwith, 1997) reads: Bloomingdaleâs (who) is a fashion-focused department store (what b Â usiness) for trend-conscious, upper-middle-class shoppers (who served) looking for high-end products (special needs). Unlike other department stores (competitors), Bloomingdaleâs provides unique merchandise in a theatrical setting (the difference), which makes shopping entertaining (unique benefit).
26 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION Note that this statement never appears explicitly in ÂBloomingdaleâs ads or marketing. The purpose of a positioning statement is to guide decisions about how to deliver a brand message. A marketing firm uses the statement to create the elements of a campaign. For example, Bloomingdaleâs highlights items in its ads and creates displays in its stores that reinforce the idea of âshopping entertainment.â A positioning statement, of course, applies not only to Âtraditional stores like Bloomingdaleâs, but can also be a powerful tool, for example, in a high-tech industry. In 1991, Intel Corporation launched a brand campaign for its computer processors. At the time, few consumers had any idea what a microprocessor was, let alone a strong brand identifica- tion or preference for a particular type of processor. Most consumers cared as much about who made their processors as they did about who built the engines in their cars. This presented a dilemma for Intel, which wanted to reap the benefits of its advances in chip design. So, the firm decided to brand its processors, thus linking Intel and its innovations. This was a revo- lutionary idea, because at the time, consumers knew next to nothing about microprocessors. A measure of the campaignâs success is that today people discuss the speed of their processors, and even mention their name. We can imagine Intel using something like the following posi- tioning statement, which we crafted based on the history of the Intel InsideÂ® Program (Intel Corporation, 2008), to create its brand: Intel (who) produces microprocessors (what business) for end users of personal computers (who served) looking for the best technology (special need) linking words like âleading technologyâ and âreliabilityâ (unique benefit) with Intel microprocessors rather than other producers of micro- processors (competitors). Messages and Taglines The key elements of messaging campaigns, like Bloomingdaleâs and Intelâs, are messages and taglines, which are easily confused. The message, the longer and more detailed of the two, is often a complete sentence that clearly articulates a brand promise. For example, the mes- sage of Anadinâ¢, a pain killer, makes an explicit promise in, âNothing
Introduction 27 acts faster than Anadinâ¢.â In contrast, a tagline is a short phrase, rarely a complete sentence, that creates an image in the consumerâs mind. One committee member described taglines as âconcretely vague,â somewhat like a Madison Avenue haiku that resonates emotionally with consumers. Intelâs now-ubiquitous tagline is âIntel Inside,â which cleverly draws attention to a tiny, rarely seen, but essential component of the computer âbrain.â Ford Motor Companyâs tagline for its Lincoln Town Car is âSignature of Success,â which taps into the self-image of conÂ sumers who might purchase these luxury cars. Two examples from this project can help clarify the differences between messages and taglines. As noted above, we engaged a market- ing firm to develop and test engineering messages and taglines. One message we tested was: Engineers make a world of difference. From new farming equipment and safer drinking water to electric cars and faster microchips, engineers use their knowledge to improve peopleâs lives in meaningful ways. One of several taglines we tested reads: Because dreams need doing To develop and test messages and taglines, the marketing company conducted research in the form of focus groups and surveys. The Role of Research Marketing research suggests reasonable actions to take in creating a brand, rather than charting a definitive course to success. Much like social science research, marketing research reveals trends that can sim- plify a complex whole by breaking it into manageable parts. Research does not tell us which branding elements to use, but it provides insights that inform, rather than replace, decision making. Marketing research serves two main purposes in creating a branding campaign. First, marketing research reveals how prospective consumers per- ceive a product or service. One might naively assume that a firm can state a position and then broadcast that position in all of its marketing. In reality, a marketer does not create a position de novo, but links a new position to an old position that already exists in the consumerâs mind.
28 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION For example, in the 1960s, Avis wanted to let potential cusÂtomers know that it offered better service than Hertz, the top rental-car com- pany, but research revealed that consumers did not find this claim credible. In fact, consumers always thought of Avis as second to Hertz. In an ingenious advertising campaign, Avis used the tagline, âWeâre number two, so we try harder.â Because this tagline connected to an idea already in consumersâ minds, it instantly resonated with them, and Avisâ revenues skyrocketed (Wall Street Journal, 1969). This is a clear example of how a marketing firm used research to get a good picture of the messaging landscape and created a tagline that linked a new position to an old one. The second way marketing firms use research is to test messages and taglines. Testing can reveal the most popular or appealing brand elements, but more important, it can reveal unanticipated problems. For example, a tagline that appeals to a marketer and client may have unintended negative connotations for the target audience. In our research, we were particularly interested in developing an exhaustive, fine-grained description of the perceptions of different groups about engineering as a profession. This required the systematic collection of data from well-defined sample groups using standardized questionnaires that would provide a basis for making comparisons. The paramount criteria for evaluating all social science research are validity and reliability. Validity means that our results tap into the underlying behaviors or attitudes we want to measure. Can a survey questionnaire, for example, adequately assess peopleâs complex atti- tudes toward engineering? Reliability, on the other hand, refers to con- sistency of measurement. Can we administer the same questionnaire consistently to a large number of respondents, for instance, without contaminating our results because of differences in how the interviews were conducted? All researchers must make trade-offs between reliability and valid- ity. Standardized surveys are very reliable in how they are administered and in how they measure underlying constructs, such as attitudes and behaviors. At the same time, their validity is limited, because they reduce complex attitudes to short questions with answers that are often forced into predefined numerical scales.
Introduction 29 The problem is often reversed for focus groups and other quali- tative methods, which enable us to explore behaviors and attitudes in great depth and include a good deal of contextual information. Therefore, they produce more valid results than standardized surveys. However, the very fact that they take into account individual differences and complexities diminishes their reliability for comparisons among different groups. The fact that we used a semi-structured interview protocol for the focus groups corrected somewhat for this limitation. For our project, therefore, we âtriangulatedâ these methods, com- bining qualitative approaches, such as focus groups, with quantitative data collection using systematic population surveys. This enabled us to leverage the specific advantages of each method in terms of reli- ability and validity and, at the same time, minimize their weaknesses by comparing results. (The committee discusses other technical issues, including factors that affect generalizability of data, in an annex to this chapter.) The NAE Messaging Project This project is based on the hypothesis that concise, effective messaging can help correct misconceptions about, and improve the image of, engineers and engineering. Effective messages will be a compelling and consistent way for the engineering community to promote itself to diverse audiences. NAE recognizes that effective mes- sages are a critical (but not sufficient) element in cultivating greater public awareness. Messaging must be a component in a sustained e Â ngineering-Âcommunity-wide campaign that also includes improving undergraduate engineering education and increasing investment in basic engineering research. Goal and Objectives of the Project The stated goal of this project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and small, supplemental grants from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, is to encourage coordinated, consistent, effective communication by the engineering community about the role, importance, and career poten-
30 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION tial of engineering to a variety of audiences, including school children, parents, teachers, and counselors. The project hopes to achieve three specific objectives: â¢ Identify a small number of messages that appear likely to lead to a better understanding of engineering. â¢ Test the effectiveness of these messages in a variety of audiences. â¢ Disseminate testing results to the engineering community. This project did not have the goal of developing metrics for measur- ing the effectiveness of messaging efforts. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to ask what one might look for as evidence of âimprovementâ in public understanding of engineering. One indicator of improvement would be the number and diversity of organizations using this report to shape their engineering outreach. Over time, we would hope to see growth in this set of organizations, and that might be measured through surveys of the engineering community. The committee believes that effective messaging will equip people with a positive and authentic vocabulary for describing and thinking about engineering. In addition, effective messaging should have an impact on student views about engineering as a career option. One approach for gathering this kind of informa- tion would be a longitudinal study, combined with âdipstickâ surveys before, during, and after the deployment of new messages. Such a study could determine the extent to which the public recognizes the new messages or associates certain key words, such as creativity, with engi- neering, and it could probe students for how messages are influencing their views about career and college choice. Less direct evidence of impact might be obtained by tracking changes in responses to periodic national surveys, such as those on professional prestige conducted by Harris Interactive; commissioning new surveys, for example, of high school students views about engineering; or analyzing factors leading to changes in enrollments in engineering schools.
Introduction 31 Public Outreach During the course of this project, the committee solicited feedback in two ways. First, committee members and project staff made presen- tations about the project at meetings where the topic of public under- standing of engineering was likely to resonate. These events included the April 2007 meeting of the NAE Council; the annual Convocation of Professional Engineering Societies and the NAE in May 2007, which brought together the presidents, presidents-elect, and executive direc- tors of major national engineering professional associations to discuss issues of mutual interest; the May 2007 and April 2008 meetings of the advisory committee to the Engineering Directorate of the NSF, which funded the project; the June 2007 annual meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education; and the January 2008 meeting of the Association of Independent Technical Universities. At each event, the goals and research findings of the project generated considerable discussion. To obtain feedback from a wider cross section of the engineering community and the general population, in March 2007 the commit- tee posted a report by the project consultants, Bemporad Baranowski Marketing Group/Global Strategy Group, on the NAE website that provided background material and summarized the findings of the qualitative research and the surveyâs initial sample. (Results of the oversamples of African American and Hispanic teens and adults were not available until June, too late to allow for public comment.) The committee notified a number of groups about the posting, including NAE members; the National Academies Teacher Advisory Council; a number of engineering societies (e.g., American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education); the Inter- national Technology Education Association, which represents Kâ12 technology education teachers; the Association of Science-Technology Centers, which represents many science and technology museums; and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
32 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION From March through June 2007, the committee received com- ments on the consultantsâ report from more than 80 organizations and Â individuals. The great majority of these were from engineers, including 10 NAE members, three deans of schools of engineering, and individual engineers who teach in universities or work in industry. The committee also received comments from a handful of Kâ12 teachers, mostly teachers of technology, mathematics, and science. The comments included a number of suggestions for using the messages, arguments in favor of particular messages, and proposals for conducting a large-scale campaign to improve public understand- ing of engineering. There were also a number of insightful comments on issues not directly considered in this project, such as the lack of opportunities for Kâ12 students to study engineering and the quality of post-secondary engineering education. Where appropriate, references to these comments are included in the committeeâs report. The Report Chapter 2 describes the committeeâs efforts to develop a position- ing statement and preliminary message themes as guidelines for the research phase of the project. Chapter 3 presents the results of that research. Chapter 4 provides the committeeâs conclusions and rec- ommendations. Appendix A contains short biographies of commit- tee members, Appendix B is the moderatorâs guide for the in-depth interviews, Appendix C is the moderatorâs guide for the parent focus groups, Appendix D is the moderatorâs guide for the teen focus groups, Appendix E is the moderatorâs guide for the youth triads, and Appendix F is the online survey. A separate CD contains complete data tables for the online survey and a PDF version of the full report. REFERENCES AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). 1990. Chapter 3, The nature of technology, and Chapter 8, The designed world in Science for All A Â mericans. New York: Oxford University Press. Beckwith, H. 1997. Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing. New York: Warner Books.
Introduction 33 Beuerlein, R. 2006. One voice, one brand. Presidential address. The Actuary Maga- zine. April/May 2006. Available online at http://www.soa.org/library/Ânewsletters/ the-Âactuary-magazine/2006/april/act-pres-address.aspx. (January 20, 2008) Council on Competitiveness. 2004. Innovate AmericaâThriving in a World of Challenge and Change. Available online at http://www.compete.org/pdf/NII_Interim_Report. pdf. (July 28, 2005) Couper, M.P. 2000. Review: Web surveys: A review of issues and approaches. Public O Â pinion Quarterly 64(4): 464â494. CPST (Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology). 2006. STEM Employ- ment Forecasts and Distributions Among Employment Sectors. STEM Workforce Data Project: Report No. 7. Available online at http://www.cpst.org/STEM/STEM7_ Report.pdf. (April 28, 2008) Crocket, R.O., and S.E. Ante. 2007. Equal opportunity speedway: African Americans are snapping up broadbandâand closing the digital divide. Business Week, May 21, 2007, p. 44. Cunningham, C., and M. Knight. 2004. Draw an Engineer Test: Development of a Tool to Investigate Studentsâ Ideas about Engineers and Engineering. Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition. Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20â23. Washington, D.C.: ASEE. Cunningham, C., C. Lachapelle, and A. Lindgren-Streicher. 2005. Assessing Elementary School Students Conceptions of Engineering and Technology. Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposi- tion. Portland, Ore., June 12â15. Washington, D.C.: ASEE. Cunningham, C., C. Lachapelle, and A. Lindgren-Streicher. 2006. Elementary Teachersâ Understandings of Engineering and Technology. Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition. Chicago, Ill., June 18â21. Washington, D.C.: ASEE. DOEd (United States Department of Education). 2006a. National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics, 2005 (NCES 2006-030), Table 205. Available online at http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98. (October 26, 2007) DOEd. 2006b. National Center for Education Statistics. Digest of Education Statistics, 2005 (NCES 2006-030), Table 170. Available online at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/ d05/tables/dt05_170.asp. (October 26, 2007) FDA (Food and Drug Administration). 2004. HHS unveils FDA strategy to help reduce obesity. New âcalories countâ approach builds on HHSâ education, research efforts. Press release, March 12, 2004. Available online at: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ news/2004/hhs_031204.html. (January 20, 2008) Gibbons, M.T. 2006. Engineering by the Numbers. Sample from the 2006 Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges, American Association of Engi- neering Education. Available online at http://www.asee.org/publications/profiles/ upload/2006ProfileEng.pdf. (January 4, 2008) Harris Interactive. 2004. American Perspectives on Engineers and Engineering. Poll con- ducted for the American Association of Engineering Societies. Final report, February 13, 2004. Available online at http://www.aaes.org/harris_2004_files/frame.htm. (July 6, 2007)
34 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION Harris Interactive. 2006. Firefighters, doctors and nurses top list as âmost prestigious occupations,â according to latest Harris poll. The Harris PollÂ® #58, July 26, 2006. Available online at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=685. (July 6, 2007) ICR (International Communications Research). 2007. Sampling Tolerances for Survey Percentages. Available online at http://www.icrsurvey.com/SamplingChart.pdf. (Octo- ber 26, 2007) Intel Corporation. 2008. Intel InsideÂ® ProgramâAnatomy of a Brand Campaign. Avail- able online at: http://www.intel.com/pressroom/intel_inside.htm. (January 4, 2008) Lenhart, A., M. Madden, and P. Hitlin. 2005. Teens and TechnologyâYouth Are Lead- ing the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Available online at http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Tech_ J Â uly2005web.pdf. (July 17, 2007) Madden, M. 2006. Data Memo on Internet Penetration and Impact. Pew Internet & Ameri- can Life Project. Available online at http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_ÂInternet_ Impact.pdf. (July 16, 2007) NAE (National Academy of Engineering). 2002. Raising Public Awareness of Engineering. L. Davis and R. Gibbin, eds. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NAE. 2005a. Educating the Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering to the New Century. Committee on the Engineer of 2020, Phase II, and the Committee on Engineering Education. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NAE. 2005b. Engineering Research and Americaâs Future: Meeting the Challenges of a Global Economy. Committee to Assess the Capacity of the U.S. Engineering Research Enterprise. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NAE. 2004. The Engineering of 2020âVisions of Engineering in the New Century. W Â ashington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NAE. 2008. The Offshoring of Engineering: Facts, Myths, Unknowns, and Potential Implications. Committee on the Offshoring of Engineering. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NAE and NRC (National Research Council). 2002. Technically Speaking: Why All Ameri- cans Need to Know More About Technology. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NAS (National Academy of Sciences), NAE, IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2007. Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Eco- nomic Future. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NSF (National Science Foundation). 2005a. Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966â 2004. Table 47: Engineering degrees awarded, by degree level and sex of recipient, 1966â2004. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07307/pdf/tab47.pdf. (January 4, 2008) NSF. 2005b. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineer- ing. Table C-7: Racial/ethnic distribution of S&E bachelorâs degrees awarded to U.S. C Â itizens and permanent residents, by field: 1995â2004. Available online at http:// www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/tabc-7.pdf. (January 4, 2008) NSF. 2006a. Science and engineering indicators 2006. Appendix Table 2-26. Available online at http://nsf.gov/statistics/seind06/append/c2/at02-26.xls. (September 18, 2007)
Introduction 35 NSF. 2006b. Science and engineering indicators 2006, Figure 3-26. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind06/c3/c3s1.htm#c3s1l11. (January 4, 2008) PCAST (Presidentâs Council of Advisors on Science and Technology). 2004. Sus- taining the Nationâs Innovation Ecosystem: Maintaining the Strength of Our Science and Engineering Capabilities. Available online at http://ostp.gov/pcast/Â FINALPCASTSECAPABILITIESPACKAGE.pdf. (July 28, 2005) Sheldon, H., C. Graham, N. Pothecary, and F. Rasul. 2007. Increasing response rates amongst black and minority ethnic and seldom heard groups: A review of the literature relevant to the National Acute Patientsâ Survey. Picker Institute Europe. Available online at www.nhssurveys.org/docs/Inpatient_Survey_2007_Increasing_ response_rates8.pdf. (June 30, 2007) U.S. Census Bureau. 2002. Current Population Reports: Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050. Table J, p. 13. Available online at http://www.census.gov/prod/1/pop/p25-1130.pdf. (September 18, 2007) U.S. Census Bureau. 2005. Population Profile of the United States: Dynamic Version. Race and Hispanic Origin in 2005. Available online at http://www.census.gov/population/ pop-profile/dynamic/RACEHO.pdf. (October 26, 2007) Wadhwa, V., G. Gereffi, B. Rissing, and R. Ong. 2007. Where the engineers are. Issues in Science and Technology (Spring): 73â84. Wall Street Journal. 1969. Doyle Dane took over the Avis account six years ago. Since then Avisâ business has quadrupled. May 12, 1969, p. 6. ANNEX GENERALIZABILITY OF SURVEY DATA Generalizability, the capability of making inferences from a sample to the target population, is an essential aspect of survey research. The most commonly used inferential statistic is sampling tolerance, often called the margin of error. We prefer the former term, because the m Â argin of error suggests, incorrectly, that there is something wrong with the data, whereas sampling tolerance refers to the difference between results from the sample and results anticipated in the target population as a whole. Sampling tolerance varies by the size of the sample (the larger the sample, the smaller the tolerance) and the reported percentage response to a particular survey question (the closer the response percentage is to 50 percent, the larger the sampling tolerance). Table 1-3 illustrates how these factors affect tolerance for individual data points. Sampling tolerances are often expressed as plus or minus values (+/â), or ranges, around the data point of interest.
36 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION TABLE 1-3â Sampling Tolerances for Single Samples Reported Percents Sample Size 10% or 90% 20% or 80% 30% or 70% 40% or 60% 50% 100 5.9 7.8 9.0 9.6 9.8 200 4.2 5.5 6.4 6.8 6.9 300 3.4 4.5 5.2 5.5 5.7 400 2.9 3.9 4.5 4.8 4.9 500 2.6 3.5 4.0 4.3 4.4 600 2.4 3.2 3.7 3.9 4.0 700 2.2 3.0 3.4 3.6 3.7 800 2.1 2.8 3.2 3.4 3.5 900 2.0 2.6 3.0 3.2 3.3 1000 1.9 2.5 2.8 3.0 3.1 1500 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.5 2.6 2000 1.3 1.8 2.1 2.2 2.2 5000 0.8 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.4 SOURCE: ICR, 2007. Our surveys had a 95 percent confidence level, the industry stan- dard. This means that we can be 95 percent certain that the value for the true population falls somewhere within the margin of error around what we observed in our sample.Â For example, as Table 1-3 shows, for a sample of 600 people, if 20 percent chose a particular answer choice, the sampling tolerance would be +/â 3.2 percent, and the answer range would be between 17.8 percent and 23.2 percent. This means that we can predict with 95 percent certainty that the percentage of individuals in the population we drew our sample from fall within the calculated range. The same principle applies when two data points are compared, although the calculation is more involved, particularly if the sample sizes vary. In this case, the difference between the numbers is consid- ered statistically significant if it exceeds the sampling tolerance. The correct calculation of inferential statistics depends on each respondent having the same, known chance of being selected into the sample. For example, to survey the opinions of the U.S. population as a whole, the survey sample would include representative numbers of people, in terms of age, gender, race or ethnicity, and geographic loca- tion, just to name the most obvious demographic markers. Such sam-
Introduction 37 ples are usually referred to as probability samples. Because we relied on respondents who were members of volunteer survey panels, we could not control who chose to take part in our survey. Thus our responses do not reflect exactly the demographics of the populations we were sampling, and our samples are technically not probability samples. This is a common occurrence in surveys that is typically handled by weighting, or propensity scoring, a process by which survey responses are adjusted upward or downward to match the actual demographic variable of interest. Weighting is often based on population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. For instance, if there were only 25 women in a sample of 100 people and we were interested in comparing the answers of women and men, the value of womenâs responses would be adjusted upward to reflect their true proportion in the population, slightly more than 50 percent in the United States; the menâs responses would be adjusted downward. Because most leading market research firms use pre-recruited panels, post-survey weighting is almost always necessary. There are several aspects of our survey method that might affect generalizability. First, because our survey required respondents to have Internet access, we could not include people who did not have access. Currently, about 73 percent of American adults report having regular access to the Internet (Madden, 2006). The number of teen users is higher, 87 percent in 2005 (Lenhart et al., 2005). We recognize that people who do not have Internet access might have different views about engineering than those who do have access. A second aspect of our survey method that might affect generaliz- ability involves the participation of minorities in general-population surveys. Minorities have traditionally been less likely to respond to sample surveys. Factors that may explain their underrepresentation include disengagement from the issues, lower levels of literacy, and inadequate contact information, which makes it less likely that they will be included in sampling frames (Sheldon et al., 2007). Although the minority gap is closing (Crocket and Ante, 2007), it remains a problem for survey researchers. Because one of our major goals is to develop messages that tar- get traditionally underrepresented groups, we adopted a two-step
38 CHANGING THE CONVERSATION approach to overcoming the minority gap. The first step was to conduct an initial survey of the age groups of interest. Not surprisingly, African Americans and other minorities were underrepresented in this sample, as compared to the general population. We, therefore, secured funding to field our survey in oversamples of African American and Hispanic respondents. The additional sam- ples provided us with comparison groups to the general population. There were enough respondents in each group to make statistically valid inferences. A third issue that may have affected generalizability was that NAE was identified as the sponsor of the research in the materials provided to survey respondents at the beginning of the questionnaire. This was necessary for securing fully informed consent from respondents, but it may also have influenced the responses to one or more questions. All of our results are interpreted with this caveat in mind. Finally, in any survey, some people choose not to participate. The reasons for non-responses vary but can include disinterest in or aver- sion to the survey topic or discomfort with the survey methodology (e.g., keyboarding in an Internet-based survey). Because non-responses change the representativeness of a sample, the rate of non-response can affect generalizability. Some surveysâbut not oursâtry to correct for non-responses by contacting non-responders outside of the survey process to determine their reasons for not participating. Couper (2000) provides a good overview of this and other issues related to Web-based surveys.