Scientists and scientific research are held in high regard across the globe, survey finds

The survey was conducted prior to the World Health Organization's declaration of a pandemic in early-2020.

2 min read

Across the globe, scientists and scientific research are held in high regard by the public, many cherishing the need for government investments to achieve advancements in science, a new survey finds.

According to Pew Research Center, their survey was conducted prior to the World Health Organization’s declaration of a pandemic in early-2020.

In the Pew Research survey, respondents were asked if government investments in scientific research are usually worthwhile; nearly all respondents from Spain, or 91 percent of Spanish respondents, agreed so. In France, 61 percent of respondents shared similar views of investments in scientific research.

When respondents were tasked with their input on the importance to be a world leader in scientific achievements, again, Spanish-based respondents were most in accordance with this concept.

Among the top countries who say their scientific achievements are the best in the world or above average was the United States and the United Kingdom, the survey found.

Chart shows most value government investment in scientific research, being a world leader in science

Respondents from various nations were also asked if scientists can be trusted to do what is right. From the survey’s results, the majority of nations, including India, Australia, Span, Canada, Germany, U.S., UK, Russia, and Japan were trustful of their scientists.

“Scientists as a group are highly regarded, compared with other prominent groups and institutions in society. In all publics, majorities have at least some trust in scientists to do what is right,” the survey’s findings state.

“A median of 36% have “a lot” of trust in scientists, the same share who say this about the military, and much higher than the shares who say this about business leaders, the national government and the news media.”

Chart shows those on the political right often less trusting of scientists than those on left

Moreover, public trust in the scientific community came down to political beliefs: in the survey, left-leaning respondents were less skeptical of their scientists in comparison to right-leaning thinkers.

“While there is generally a positive tilt toward public trust in scientists, trust often varies with ideology. In general, those on the left express more trust in scientists than those on the right,” the survey also found.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan think tank devoted to public opinion polling, demographic analysis, and social science research.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock