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Americans Have Little Faith In Scientists, Science Journalists: Poll


Science & Tech  (tags: science, scientists, research, poll, U.S., Americans, study, technology, tech )

Michael
- 337 days ago - huffingtonpost.com
How much faith do Americans have in scientists and science journalists? Not a whole lot, a new survey finds.



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Comments

Michael O. (174)
Sunday December 22, 2013, 10:32 am
In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, only 36 percent of Americans reported having "a lot" of trust that information they get from scientists is accurate and reliable. Fifty-one percent said they trust that information only a little, and another 6 percent said they don't trust it at all.

Science journalists fared even worse in the poll. Only 12 percent of respondents said they had a lot of trust in journalists to get the facts right in their stories about scientific studies. Fifty-seven percent said they have a little bit of trust, while 26 percent said they don't trust journalists at all to accurately report on scientific studies.

Whatís more, many Americans worry that the results of scientific studies are sometimes tainted by political ideology -- or by pressure from the studiesí corporate sponsors.

A whopping 78 percent of Americans think that information reported in scientific studies is often (34 percent) or sometimes (44 percent) influenced by political ideology, compared to only 18 percent who said that happens rarely (15 percent) or never (3 percent).

Similarly, 82 percent said that they think that scientific findings are often (43 percent) or sometimes (39 percent) influenced by the companies or organizations sponsoring them.

Republicans in the new poll were most likely to say that they have only a little bit of trust in scientists to give accurate and reliable information, and the most likely to say that they think scientific findings may be tainted by political ideology -- possibly reflecting distrust in scientists over topics such as evolution and climate change.
 

Freya H. (313)
Sunday December 22, 2013, 11:43 am
Too bad. Scientists are the people we have to thank for all this technology, good health, leisure time, etc. we have. If not for scientists, we'd still be living in mud huts and wearing home-made fur coats.
 

Dave C. (224)
Sunday December 22, 2013, 11:45 am
very sad...I have little faith in faith.....science is reality as best we know it.....
 

Dave C. (224)
Sunday December 22, 2013, 11:46 am
"the dumbing down of America" is almost complete thanks to the Greedy Old/Oil polluters/poisoners...
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 22, 2013, 12:28 pm
Important and valuable post, thank you.
 

Jonathan Harper (0)
Monday December 23, 2013, 4:18 am
Hmmmmmm
 

Timothy Spurlin (33)
Monday December 23, 2013, 6:31 am
Did they poll fundamentally religious people?
 

Jeaneen A. (149)
Monday December 23, 2013, 7:11 am
I lost faith in scientist when I first learned how they abuse animals.
 

Robert O. (12)
Monday December 23, 2013, 9:07 am
Thanks Michael.
 

Justin Vale (17)
Monday December 23, 2013, 10:30 am
thanks
 

Sharon W. (4)
Monday December 23, 2013, 11:39 am
Good thing is: Science does not depend on some dudes having faith in it.
It remains true (or sloppily researched, I admit) regardless of public opinion.
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Monday December 23, 2013, 12:54 pm
Thanks Michael.
 

Birgit W. (150)
Monday December 23, 2013, 1:14 pm
Thanks for sharing Michael.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (105)
Monday December 23, 2013, 1:36 pm
noted, thanks
 

Kamia T. (81)
Monday December 23, 2013, 2:39 pm
I think people began losing faith in the accuracy of what scientists were reporting when they began to discover that rather than seeking "truth," they were being swayed by who was funding their research or their own personal goal to be the first to 'discover' or provide something. No one can be believed who holds no ethics - faith or not.
 

Carmen S. (613)
Monday December 23, 2013, 7:37 pm
Thanks for sharing this Michael, there is good and bad in everything, and sad that so many people cannot recognize good science and pay attention to it.
 

Lona Goudswaard (72)
Monday December 23, 2013, 10:17 pm
A strange outcome if one considers how much faith Americans have in anything else ;-)
 

june t. (66)
Monday December 23, 2013, 11:59 pm
scientific research now being done to cater to corporate interests, no longer for the good of humankind or the earth.
 

John Gregoire (261)
Tuesday December 24, 2013, 4:51 am
not surprising. In my field we had the Cornell lab of ornithology create a major scam over the supposed Ivory-billed Woodpecker just to gain fame for a few people and tons of money for CLO! To top it off the govt then transferred important funding from endangered species to a crazy plan to protect habitat for this extirpated bird! and....the director of CLO and his chief perpetrator aren't in jail!!
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 24, 2013, 5:02 am
Well, scientist are men/women after all.
 

Winn Adams (199)
Tuesday December 24, 2013, 7:11 am
Thanks for the info.
 

Thomas M. (7)
Tuesday December 24, 2013, 8:15 am
I sure as hell will trust a scientist over a Republican climate denier anyday. Obviously research can be flawed, but at least fellow scientists can call the kettle black when it is called for. What are we supposed to do, believe the writings in the bible as "science?" Come on, research is at least an attempt to get at truth versus some blowhard giving their verbal diatribe on what they believe or think they saw, which is usually different than the other witnesses to a situation.
 

Melania Padilla (180)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 1:37 pm
Shame!!!!
 
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