Americans Have Little Faith In Scientists, Science Journalists: Poll

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How much faith do Americans have in scientists and science journalists? Not a whole lot, a new survey finds.

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.

What’s more, many Americans worry that the results of scientific studies are sometimes tainted by political ideology — or by pressure from the studies’ 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).

Written By: Emily Swanson
continue to source article at huffingtonpost.com

15 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, what has science ever done for me?…hold on, I have a cell phone call…hold on again, I have to check my e-mail…sorry, there goes the microwave, lunch is ready. Wait a minute, maybe I should change my viewpoint………….nah, I will trust the conservative politicians and Fox News. Haha

    • In reply to #2 by giggity:

      Yeah, what has science ever done for me?…hold on, I have a cell phone call…hold on again, I have to check my e-mail…sorry, there goes the microwave, lunch is ready. Wait a minute, maybe I should change my viewpoint………….nah, I will trust the conservative politicians and Fox News. Haha

      You forgot to mention your keyboard….

  2. “…Faith…” ? It’s knowledge they lack; which nowadays is in inexcusable.

    Had they the knowledge they would be able to question scientists and learn.

    But no, it’s easier to sit on your butt stuffing your face watching cookery programmes on television and talking drivel.

    Oh, and incidentally, isn’t that device in the corner with a screen a product of science?

    And what about planes, electricity, phones, and cars, and computers, and the thousand and one other things which enhance our lives today?

    • In reply to #3 by Stafford Gordon:

      “…Faith…” ? It’s knowledge they lack; which nowadays is in inexcusable.

      Had they the knowledge they would be able to question scientists and learn.

      But no, it’s easier to sit on your butt stuffing your face watching cookery programmes on television and talking drivel.

      Oh, and incidentally, is…

      The gadgets that I find particularly germane to this discussion are those employed in hospitals, CRT scanners and the like, that the fundies have no hesitation in calling for when their diet and lifestyle brings them closer to their eternal reward. It needs to be pointed out to them that these rely on the very same physics that date the world, and the remains of the plants and animals in it at way beyond the computations of Bishop Ussher.

  3. 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,

    If the versions they read are reported in Faux News, 78% is much too low.

  4. The last paragraph, political influence on scientific studies is one that were I surveyed, I might have answered in the affirmative. Consider the amount of research funded for military objectives alone and the question is justified.
    Now, what we need from the conservative pollies is funding a serious research program by respected scientists to prove, once and for all that god exists.
    And, that they will be bound by the results, so that the whole BS can be finally done away with. Odd that there seems to be no end to the money to make bigger bombs, and yet it never occurs to them to spend money to get a decent study on what is after all a divisive social issue.

  5. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. Not sure what science journalists are but if they mean anything outside of a peer reviewed paper than I have to agree. Our reports on science really suck for the most part. Just go watch the Discovery Channel or Nat Geo and I guarantee there will be a program about how there is new “evidence” of aliens that have contacted us about real mermaids.

  6. Science journalists rank just above sportswriters in my list of “People I presume are inaccurate AND repulsive.”

    As for the people’s distrust of what they imagine is “science,” I’m quite sure this is due to reality’s nasty, consistent refusal to flatter and coo over how wonderful they are – how very, very, very IMPORTANT! And how very right and IMPORTANT their every little opinion is.

    Atheists have the same popularity problem, actually, don’t we?

    It’s Swift’s world, as always (and always will be? I hope not!): “This is the sublime and refined point of felicity, called, the possession of being well deceived; the serene, peaceful state of being a fool among knaves.”

    • In reply to #7 by goddogit:

      Science journalists rank just above sportswriters in my list of “People I presume are inaccurate AND repulsive.”

      Many of them up-grade to become “expert” science journalists, when motor-racing sports commentators learn a bit of science and look for a new job opportunity.

      Fortunately in the UK, we have the BBC2 and BBC4 with some real scientists presenting science. (Brian Cox, Dara O’Briain, Jim Alkalili, David Attenborough, etc)

  7. How much faith do Americans have in scientists and science journalists?

    How much science do Americans have in their faith?
    (Please give answers in ROUND FIGURES – with or without decimal points.)

  8. Maybe Americans are not the most science educated people to be understanding – let alone judging Scientists, most of them (not all) are religious and accept a bunch of iron age mythology as truth…. How can people like that possibly comprehend scientific rational ? Its probably just beyond them, so they reject and minimalize what they don’t understand…..It should not even be a question of having faith in scientists – what is that ? Faith is for religion and in that sense alone it means ‘accept our unbelievable story – submit you will to us…are you gullible enough’ ?

    We don’t even need to use the word faith around Science…. as Scientific Truth’s are re- testable and Educated people trust that many scientists know what they are testing and reporting to the world. Their findings are true until more advanced knowledge is gained from further research that change the parameters of our understanding a bit, but the original Scientific findings weren’t wrong – they were as close to correct as we knew till knew data was found…….Our understanding of science gets regularly updated and more refined – our knowledge evolves along with us…so don’t mistrust scientists, maybe we wont ever know everything at the same time – if we do, It’ll be like a future knowledge singularity ?

  9. A churchman is happiest when his audience, having listened to what he says about his superstitions, accepts them on his authority, having faith in him and in the divine entity that supposedly guarantees them. A scientist, however, is happiest (at least so I have found hitherto) when his audience, having listened to his presentation of evidence and arguments, understands them and freely takes up his own position on them. If religious people are still thinking of science as something as airy-fairy as religion, that can be taken or left on some personal, subjective act of faith, they have not even begun yet to understand the difference that the scientific revolution has made in the world.

  10. Distrust may just come natural to Americans. The Catholic Church and Boy Scouts have lied and covered up child abuse. Greedy stock market executives fleeced to the public and drove us to the brink of financial collapse. To make a long rant short… Why should science be trusted…? Or as one wit put it… “They are all crooks except me and thee… and I’m not too sure about thee.”

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