Team:TU Munich/Human Practice/Survey


Revision as of 09:20, 25 October 2012 by Nadine1990 (Talk | contribs)




The survey was carried out by the TUM young academy, which planned to install a website to inform the public about genetic engineering. They made an online questionnaire and stood in Munich for one day, with a print out version. All in all 1183 people participated, 979 online and 204 on the street, thereof 597 were male and 570 female. The problem is that, in this survey, the group of the age from 15-24 is drastically over represented with 70%, the reason could be that through the university project more students were reached.
This team allowed us to use their data for our project as well. As they had 33 questions we chose the ones directly relied to genetic engineering, the ones dealing with the webpage they wanted to create we left out.

Basic data

  • Participants: 1183
  • Online participants: 979
  • Street participants: 204
  • Male: 597
  • Female: 570
  • Age: mainly between 15-24 (70%)


Evaluated questions

  • How do you feel about genetic engineering in general?
  • How good do you think is your knowledge about genetic engineering?
  • Are you concerned about genetically modified food?
  • Do you think genetic engineering is reasonable in medicine?
  • Do you think genetic engineering is reasonable in farming?
  • Do you think genetic engineering is reasonable in food?
  • Do you think the commentatorship in Germany is neutral?
  • Would you eat a genetically modified apple if it was healthier?
  • Would you eat a genetically modified apple if it tasted better?


Overall impression about genetic engineering
Knowledge about genetic engineering
Concerns about genetically modified food
Acceptance of genetic engineering in farming
Acceptance of genetic engineering in medicine
Neutrality of the German media from the point of view of the public
Decision to eat an genetically modified apple if it was healthier
Decision to eat an genetically modified apple if it was tastier


In contrary to our first impression about half of the questioned people say that they have a "normal" or better amount of knowledge. In our former human practice events we often realised that the discussions are rather emotional than scientific. This difference could arise from the mostly younger people who participated. Because in Germany genetic engineering started to play a bigger role in schools and in the media, although as mentioned below, the media is not always neutral. The overall impression about genetically modified organism is not that bad, but it has to be differenced where genetic engineering is used. A lot of people agree that it is appropriate to use it in medicine (922).
Whereas in food and agriculture the acceptance is with 633 (food) and 573 (farming) people who say no, very low. As also mentioned on our overview page people do not accept GMO in their food. The skepsis in Germany is rather big. This is also depicted in the fact that people (533) will rather not eat a genetically modified apple even if it would taste the same. Eating a healthier apple is not that controversial but not many Germans would (404). So with around 50% of people who would not eat an healthier apple, when it is healthier because of genetic engineering, the problem lies in the acceptance. Even a positive result is not enough to convince people. But the question about medicine shows that the benefit is here that good that people accept genetic engineered therapeutics. So maybe the benefit of green biotechnology is not that present in the peoples minds.

Nevertheless it is to be mentioned that a lot of people think that they are not informed impartial. This might lead to a rather negatic point of view, because a neutral reporting is essential to come up with his or her own mind. All in all it is to say that the red biotechnology is widely accepted in Germany, whereas green biotechnology has a hard stand. Although it is to say that the Germans think that the media is not neutral about GMO, 808 think so. Also they have the wish that plays a bigger role in politics (655).