Voters want more science-based discussion this election, survey shows

An Iowa survey conducted by Zogby Analytics, Research!America, and Science Debate showed voters want more science-based discussion on research and its effect on policy-making among the 2020 presidential candidates this election cycle.

“Science policies related to our health, environment, economy, and national security impact every American, and these results suggest candidates running for president should be prepared to develop and discuss their policies well before Election Day. We’d love to see some science-focused questions in the upcoming debates,” said Sheril Kirshenbaum, executive director of Science Debate.

In the survey, 802 participants from Iowa were asked a series of questions on the inclusion of scientific research, policy-making, and whether there should be more discussion on these topics among the presidential candidates.

Credit: Research!America

According to the results, a vast majority of Iowans, 74 percent, reiterated the importance of discussion on how scientific research will affect policymaking decisions. 22 percent over the last two months reported seeing no discussion on such key issues.

The survey also found 90 percent of Iowans noted the importance for the U.S. to be a global leader in science and technology research. 79 percent preferred a candidate with a plan on climate change. 75 percent agreed a presidential candidate should have a science advisor. 71 percent suggested changes to the federal investment in mental health research. And 54 percent were more likely to go for a pro-science candidate as their primary choice.

“These results reveal a real opportunity that candidates have to connect with potential Iowa voters. Iowa is the home of world-class scientific research institutions that fuel local economic growth and drive life-saving progress,” said Mike Coburn, CEO of Research!America.