Poll shows Americans’ trust in science, medicine increasingly divided
New survey results reveal that Americans have a marked partisan divide when it comes to their faith in science, with the COVID-19 pandemic widening that gap.
The General Social Survey, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, published its 2021 results and it showed a growing polarization of views on certain topics, such as science and medicine. The group has conducted a series of nationally representative interviews in the United States since 1972 with adults 18 and older.
Overall, about 48% of Americans said they have “a lot” of trust in the scientific community. However, about 64% of Democrats said the same, while only 34% of Republicans said they have “a lot” of confidence in the scientific community.
According to the Associated Pressthis partisan gap was much smaller in 2018 when it comes to trust in the scientific community, with 51% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans supporting this statement.
America is changing faster than ever! Add Change America to your Facebook Where Twitter stream to stay up to date with the news.
Similar trends were seen when respondents were asked about their confidence in medicine, with 45% of Democrats indicating they had a great deal of confidence while only 34% of Republicans said the same.
“We live in a time when people would rather put urine or cleaning chemicals in their bodies than scientifically approved vaccines. It’s a clear convergence of fear, lack of critical thinking, confirmation bias and political tribalism,” Marshall Shepherd, professor of meteorology at the University of Georgia, told the AP.
Kelvin Droegemeier, former science adviser to former President Trump, also told the AP that he thinks the coronavirus pandemic has given the public a better view of how scientific research works, including how fast science works. can evolve and sometimes become chaotic.
“We mean ‘follow the science’, but what results? The challenge lies in how best to use scientific findings, recognizing that what appears to be an ‘answer’ one day may be undone, in whole or in part, another day,” Droegemeier told the AP.
The face mask issue followed a similar pattern to what Droegemeier described, when several health experts said in January cloth masks do not provide sufficient protection against the highly transmissible omicron variant.
Many experts have recommended N95 masks with a filtration rate of 95%. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky reiterated that her agency’s guidance on what masks to wear would not change.
Interestingly, one expert noted that scientists and policymakers tend to be conservative, not politically speaking, when it comes to measures like masks and vaccines, while “Republicans as a group appreciate individual freedom,” Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, told the AP.
“It’s no wonder, then, that Republicans are less supportive of scientifically conservative decisions in the face of uncertainty,” she told the AP.
A separate analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in November 2021 found that unvaccinated adults were more than three times more likely to lean Republican than Democratic.
It’s risky, because the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic is fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variantwhich represents 99% of all cases in the United States.
READ MORE STORIES FROM AMERICA IN CHANGE
GOVERNMENT OF TEXAS. ABBOTT INTRODUCES NEW “BILL OF PARENTAL RIGHTS”
SCIENTISTS ARE MONITORING A NEW SUB-VARIANT OF OMICRON CALLED BA.2
FLORIDA HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES ‘DON’T SAY GAY’ BILL
MAN REFUSED HEART TRANSPLANT BECAUSE HE IS NOT VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19
RESEARCHERS FIND GENETIC LINK TO COVID-19 INDUCED LOSS OF SMELL AND TASTE