6 Questions Lots Of People Disagree With Scientists About
Most people support science overall. But there are some topics it seems we'll never agree on.
A poll of 2,002 adults released by Pew Research Center yesterday revealed that the American public, in general, support science and think it has made their lives easier.
But despite this, the opinions of scientists and the rest of society appear to differ on a number of topics. Pew posed several questions on controversial topics to the US public and a "representative sample" of 3,748 scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). These are some of the differences they found in the groups' answers.
These differences should be taken with a decent pinch of salt, and don't prove either way whether people trust scientists on these issues.
For starters both the public and scientists, as groups, obviously have a lot of variation within them. And if someone disagrees with the overall scientific opinion on an issue, that's not necessarily because they don't trust scientists.
The very exercise itself is aimed, perhaps unintentionally, at perpetuating the lie that 'science' is one unified enterprise that can be meaningfully isolated from society, and that scientists' views about issues outside of their specific domain of expertise are more imbued with objectivity and less clouded by bias or ignorance than the unwashed 'public'.