Poll Shows Americans Have Little Faith in Scientists


notebookThe reason that so many people doubt the scientific findings that relate to important issues such as global warning may be a simple reflection of their mistrust of scientists. According to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, only 36% of Americans admit to having “a lot” of trust that the information obtained from scientists is accurate and reliable. Of those polled, only 51% reported that they trusted scientists “a little,” and an additional 6% said they do not trust the information at all.

Those with science careers in journalism were rated even lower on the trustworthiness scale, with only 12% of those polled saying they had a lot of trust in those who wrote for scientific journals to get their facts right. An additional 57% reported having a “little bit” of trust in them, while 26% said they did not trust science journalists to provide accurate reports on scientific studies.

Another problem encountered by the poll was that many Americans showed concern that those who report on science current events have been inversely influenced by political ideology or from the corporate sponsors who back the studies. Overall, 78% of Americans were shown to believe that the information provided about studies was either often (34%) or sometimes (44%) influenced by political ideology, in comparison to the 18% and 15% who thought this was “rarely” or “never” the case. Also of interest, Republicans who were polled were the most likely participants to say that they had only “a little” trust in scientists, while they were also most likely to believe that the scientific findings that were reported might have been tainted by political ideology.

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