Conservatives' trust in science has declined sharply

Hmmm… wonder why.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

…A study released Thursday in the American Sociological Review concludes that trust in science among conservatives and frequent churchgoers has declined precipitously since 1974, when a national survey first asked people how much confidence they had in the scientific community. At that time, conservatives had the highest level of trust in scientists.

Confidence in scientists has declined the most among the most educated conservatives, the peer-reviewed research paper found, concluding: “These results are quite profound because they imply that conservative discontent with science was not attributable to the uneducated but to rising distrust among educated conservatives”…

5 thoughts on “Conservatives' trust in science has declined sharply”

  1. I am an engineer.
    I distrust “scientists” mostly because every “scientist” I meet has no blooming idea about what happens outside their lab. This leads to absolute stupidity about reality and ridiculous messes that engineers have to clean up.

  2. Obviously this article is attempting to slam conservatives as being anti-science, when the truth is we don’t trust the demagoguery and biased research that has replaced real science with junk science.

    Unfortunately, the amount of garbage being produced and called “science” far exceeds any real science and that is a true shame. I can honestly say I trust any very few scientists at this time, and I don’t trust anyone at all from the government.

  3. Unfortunately, when science gets politicized, choosing winners in a solicitation likely resembles the methods lawyers use to select expert witnesses for trial. You hire the folks you know will support your case.

    The other problem you run into is deification of beaurocrats. I remember when the Columbia space shuttle crashed, there was a discussion about a very high ranking decision maker within NASA who was near the top of the chain of command for the people who noticed large pieces of ice and foam hitting the shuttle during its ascent. The people under that supervisor noted the impact and it was passed part way up the chain of command but likely did not get the airing it should have because they concluded there was nothing they could do anyway. You’d think the supervisor would have lost their job but that person was a rising star and adminstrators considered themselves lucky to have such a high profile person in that position. After that catastrophe, NASA gave itself 8 years to make a replacement vehicle that looked strikingly similar to the Apollo capsules developed 35 years earlier. NASA could not get the replacement ready and still has no vehicle even on the drawing board to get people into space.

    So yes, this conservative scientist (PhD, chemist) has lost a lot of faith in big government science. But I have not lost faith in science itself.

  4. I am a scientist.
    I do not distrust science.
    I distrust those who call themselves ‘scientists,’ but whose public behaviour (often involving press releases rather than peer-review) circumvents the scientific method and the peer-review process.
    I regret that I am being maligned in the eyes of the public because of those posing as my peers who disgrace the profession.

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