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A Systematic Report on the Top Social Issues in Taiwan

2019/09/24

The rapid development of science and technology has dramatically changed the global economic and social landscapes. These changes have posed multiple challenges to the countries around the world and stimulated more encompassing and even thornier social issues. The surveys conducted in Taiwan had only addressed a confined range of topics and scratch on the surface of the public concern. In order to fully pinpoint the scope of social issues of the public interests, the Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) of National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) carried out a series of extensive research and found that Taiwanese citizens are most interested in issues concerning the environment, labor rights and wages, food, disasters, and energy.

STPI spent half a year compiling the report on the "Research of 2018 Top Social Issues in Taiwan ". To complete the project, the team collected and analyzed data from think tanks, media reports, and the Public Policy Participation Network Platform. STPI also took advice from the industries, academia, and research institutes. The constant hard works of data analysis and standardization brought about a systematic report showcasing 14 categories, 79 subcategories, and 334 topics.

STPI also spared no efforts in verifying the integrity of the report, making sure the issues that raised concerns among the majority of the citizens were highlighted. The team held several meetings gathering experts from different fields to examine the results before they conducted an online poll by quota sampling with 20,048 respondents under the demographic structure of the county, city, and age of the people in Taiwan from October 25 to November 19, 2018.

Taiwanese citizens showed interests in self-related interests and daily life issues.

From the top 100 most-concerned social issues, the report identified five categories receiving the greatest concern: environment (15 issues), labor rights and wages (12 issues), food (11 issues), disasters (10 issues), and energy (10 issues).

Among all categories, the public care most in "source reduction and recycling,” “food fraud and misleading food labels,” “agricultural losses and the increased demand for electricity caused by unusual weather,” and “safety of nuclear power generation," with “food fraud and misleading food labels" generating the most concerns.

Further analysis of the survey results shows that the respondents are more concerned about the topics related to their self-interests or daily lives. For example, the report indicates that the government's efforts to reduce waste over the years have paid off, and the idea of recycling has taken root in Taiwan. In addition, food safety scandals have prompted citizens to pursue a healthier and safer diet. Job security, agricultural losses due to disasters, and energy security are other vital issues for the general public.

The systematic report launched by STPI identified issues of public concerns, and with a holistic picture of the domestic social problems, the report addressed the different quests from various social groups. This year, STPI celebrates its 45th anniversary. For years since its establishment, STPI took science and technology information services as its primary mission and assisted the digitalization of the country's academic information services. STPI has transformed over time into the hub for in-depth research on scientific and technological policies. In the future, STPI will continue to follow-up research on social issues, and provide government agencies with the results as a reference for policy-making.

 

Dr. Wang Yeong-Her (left), the President of NARLabs, and Dr. Joung Yuh-Jzer, the Director-General of STPI, unveiled the report on the "Research of 2018 Top Social Issues in Taiwan".