As people are facing an increasing number of issues regarding emerging technologies, environment, and health risks in their daily life, public understanding has started to grab the eyes of both researchers and policy-makers. This understanding is of particular importance because a democratic system works the best when its people participate actively in public affairs and offer meaningful opinions as the bedrocks of policy-making. The “biotechnology fiasco” example in Europe attests to the importance of understanding both public opinion and factors shaping public attitudes. Scientists and outreach specialists also heavily rely on results of public opinion surveys because they provide insight into what strategies to use when communicating with the public. Public understanding of science in Taiwan, although receives increasing attention, is still in its infancy. For example, surveys with large, nationally representative sample in Taiwan are scarce. Among the few, most focus on scientific literacy, especially people’s level of knowledge and where their knowledge comes from. While scientific literacy undoubtedly plays an important role in the popularization of scientific or technological innovations, it is not the sole factor, let alone the most powerful predictor of public attitudes. Research around the world has suggested that communication channels, such as mass media use and interpersonal discussion, serve not only as information sources for scientific or health-related issues, but also as important determinants of people’s opinion. Studies also show that value predispositions, such as religiosity, ideology, and deference to scientific authority, can provide people with “mental shortcuts” and help them form an opinion in a more efficient way. Moreover, due to cultural and societal differences, the perception of scientific issues and the attitude-shaping factors may vary. As a result, keeping track of how the public thinks about scientific issues matters as much in Taiwan as in the rest of the world. This is because of the notion that research findings are not meaningful unless it is placed in a comparative context. Drawing on literature from communication, social psychology, risk management, cross-cultural research, this project will implement three large-scale, probability sample surveys in Taiwan (with a focus on nanotechnology, climate change, and biotechnology, respectively). By situating public opinion in the aforementioned theoretical disciplines, we are able to paint a clear contour regarding public understanding of science in Taiwan. Most important of all, results obtained from these surveys can be used by scholars for cross-cultural comparative studies, which will contribute remarkably to international scholarship and make experiences in Taiwan visible in the world.