Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency dismissed half the members of a key scientific advisory board. Responsible for reviewing and evaluating research conducted by EPA scientists, the board's replacements could include representatives from industries the agency is supposed to regulate. The scientific community has voiced its outrage at the firings and it is likely to view them as an attempt by the Trump administration to reduce regulatory reach by removing academic advisors and researchers.
If the findings of a Pew Research survey
are anything to go by, a reshuffle within the EPA will cause more concern among Democrats than Republicans. Conducted late last year, the survey questioned U.S. adults on the science behind climate change
. Its results suggest that scientific knowledge is far more likely to influence Democrats' understanding of the phenomenon
but it has very little effect on Republicans. For example, 75 percent of Democrats with a high level of scientific knowlege agree that rising sea levels threatening shore lines are very likely to occur due to climate change compared to just 28 percent of Republicans with the same level of scientific awareness.