This small-scale research was conducted as a descriptive survey study on the basis of a simple random sampling model, where interviews were held with 90 respondents, who represent the professionals of Bangladesh. This master’s-level study conducted between the joint venture of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development and Department of Biotechnology in BSMRAU. Therefore, the short time frame of the degree and lack of substantial funding influence the study to conduct within small sample number. The research scientists, university teachers and industry personnel of biotechnology, breeding and biological science disciplines are included in the population as they are well known about biotechnological products and they might be unbiased towards biotechnology. Finally, six research scientists, university teachers and industry personnels from the selected 15 public and private organizations, where biotechnology and its related research works are conducting, considered as the sample frame of the study selected by using simple random sampling method from 200 populations. Professionals to be interviewed individually from each institute were randomly selected and face-to-face interviews conducted with this personnel by conforming to unbiased of answers. There is a balanced distribution among the research scientists, university teachers and industry personnel respondents which comprise the whole population.
The researchers themselves collected data using a semi-structured interview schedule with the respondents. All possible precautions were taken to avert biased opinion and to maintain the reliability of responses. Nevertheless, the biased effect of the interviewer was deducted as far as possible. The entire process of data collection was completed during April to June 2014.
The current study has two categories of variables, viz. dependent and independent variables. The dependent variables were attitude and consumption of the respondents toward biotechnological products, while the independent variables were age, education, length of service, information source and knowledge.
Age of the respondents was measured in terms of actual years based on his/her statement, where a score of one was assigned for each year of his age. The age of the respondents was categorized as young (< 40), middle-aged (41–60) and old (> 60). Moreover, education of the respondents was measured by the number of years of formal schooling successfully passed by the respondents where a score of one was assigned to a respondent for each year of schooling. The education of the respondents was categorized as a graduate (16), master’s (18) and Ph.D. (21).
Education and length of service were factors that influenced professionalism and code of ethics. Recent findings indicated that practitioners with a high level of education and who had been long in service found accepted professionalism in their practice and also were acceptable to be guided and governed by ethical conduct. Since a majority of them are members of professional associations, it also meant that they accepted ethical practice in the conduct of their work . The length of service of the respondents was measured in terms of actual complete years from his/her date of joining service to the time of interview. The respondents were classified into three categories on the basis of their length of service (years) as short (< 10), moderate (11–20) and long (> 20).
Use of media by the respondents was measured by the extent of their use of different media of learning biotechnology. Each respondent was asked to mention the degree of contact he/she made with nine selected learning media as daily to weekly, weekly to monthly, monthly to quarterly, quarterly to yearly and not at all, and weights assigned for these five alternative nature of contacts are 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0, respectively. The selected nine learning media are interpersonal sources (friends, relatives, colleagues and biotech experts), group media (training, group meeting/discussion and workshop/seminar) and mass media (electronic media—radio/television; print media—newspapers/publications; and websites/the Internet). Based on their score on the use of learning media, the respondents are classified into three categories which are a low user (< 12), the medium user (13–24) and high user (> 24).
The innovation–decision process starts with the knowledge stage. In this step, an individual learns about the existence of biotech products and seeks information about the biotech products. ‘What?’, ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ are the critical questions in the knowledge phase. During this phase, the individual attempts to determine ‘what’s the biotech products and why and how it works’ . According to Rogers, the questions form three types of knowledge: (1) awareness knowledge, (2) principle knowledge and (3) application/ how-to knowledge.
Awareness knowledge: Awareness knowledge represents the knowledge of the biotech product existence. This type of knowledge can motivate the individual to learn more about the biotech products and, eventually, to adopt it. Likewise, it may encourage an individual to learn about other two types of knowledge.
Principle knowledge: This knowledge includes the functioning principles describing how and why the biotech products work. The biotech products can be adopted without this knowledge, but the misuse of the biotech products may cause its discontinuance.
Application/how-to knowledge: This knowledge contains information about how to use the biotech products correctly. When a professional has biology/biotechnology backgrounds, but may not use biotechnology in research, which indicates that he/she does not have knowledge of how to use it correctly. So, biotechnology is not used at an expected level, since they need help in how to use the biotechnology effectively in research.
Rogers deliberates that this knowledge is an essential variable in the innovation–decision process. To increase the adoption chance of the biotech products, an individual should have a sufficient level of application knowledge prior to the trial of the biotech products. Therefore, this knowledge becomes more critical for relatively molecular biotech products.
The knowledge scores are computed for each participant to determine the degree of his/her awareness and idea about biotechnological products. Thirty questions are selected in the interview schedule for measuring participant’s knowledge, which was categorized into three categories, viz. awareness knowledge, principle knowledge and application knowledge. Respondents were asked to answer those questions and score against each item, which is categorized as four (4) for very well known, three (3) for well known, two (2) for known, one (1) for partially known and zero (0) for unknown. Weight for responses on each 10 questions of each knowledge category is added together to get each participant’s score on biotechnological products. Therefore, one’s knowledge score on biotechnological product scores could range from 0 to 120, where ‘0’ indicates ‘no knowledge’ and ‘120’ indicates ‘very high knowledge’. The same scoring was implemented against each item for understanding the awareness about biotechnological products. So, one’s awareness knowledge score on biotech product scores could range from 0 to 40, where ‘0’ indicates ‘no awareness knowledge’ and ‘40’ indicates ‘very high awareness knowledge’.
An attitude is an expression of favour or disfavour towards a person, place, thing or event. The weight of respondent’s answer gave to the positive judgements of attitude in the 5 points of sub-scale (Likert scale) was coded as 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, corresponding, respectively, to ‘strongly agree’, ‘agree’, ‘no opinion’, ‘disagree’ and ‘strongly disagree’, and reverse weights were assigned for the negative judgements. Sequentially, strongly agree and agree are categorized as agree, strongly disagree and disagree are categorized as disagree, and no opinion category remains unchanged in the response of the respondents. Moreover, participant’s overall attitude towards biotech products was categorized into four categories by summation of all scores of the questions, which are unfavourable (< 20), neutral (21–30), favourable (31–40) and highly favourable (> 40). Data show two nominal categories such as agree and disagree, which allows carrying out the Chi-square test compared to regression test. Therefore, Chi-square test was used to determine the attitudes of the respondents towards biotechnological products (Appendix 1).
Biotechnological products are categorized into five types such as agro-based, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, beautyceuticals and other types which were opined by the respondent’s personal extent of consumption. Each of the 36 products (agro-based—15, pharmaceuticals—5, nutraceuticals—7, beautyceuticals—6 and others—3) had two choices of responses towards their consumption of biotechnological products which were coded as 1 and 0 corresponding to ‘consumed’ and ‘not consumed’. Therefore, the possible score for use of biotech products of the respondents could range from 0 to 36, while ‘< 5’ indicates very lower use, ‘6–15’ indicates medium use and ‘> 15’ indicates the very higher use of biotech products.
Logistic regression is dichotomous; that is, the dependent variable can take the value 1 with a probability of success or the value 0 with a probability of failure. Logistic regression was done to find out the probability of their consumption level of biotechnological products whether consumed or not when to interact with their socio-demographic variables. Collected data were coded for processing and analysis. The SPSS computer software program 16.0 version was used to perform the data analysis. Qualitative data were converted into quantitative ones by means of suitable scoring, whenever needed. For describing the particular dependent and independent variables, the respondents were classified into several categories in respect of each variable. Frequency counts and percentages as well as means, standard deviations, rank order, cross-tabulation were used for descriptive data.