In the United States, many surveys have revealed varying levels of distrust on scientific issues ranging from the implications of vaccinations to the effects of global warming
. Recently, those misgivings have been exacerbated by politics, with the president publicly expressing his doubts about scientific conclusions on numerous occasions. Given the current political climate, the findings of a new Pew Research Center survey
will come as a relief to the scientific community.
It found that ahead of the U.S. presidential election in 2016, 76 percent of the American public said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in scientists acting in the best interests of the public. By January of 2019, trust levels had climbed to 86 percent, higher than the military
(82 percent) the news media (57 percent) and elected officials (57 percent).
Despite that increase, a partisan divide still remains. While 91 percent of Democrats have confidence in scientific research, the share among Republicans is slightly less at 82 percent. The divide is even more noticeable among those with a great deal of confidence in scientists. In this case, the share among Democrats stands at 43 percent compared to just 27 percent for Republicans.