The world is more trusting of scientists, survey finds

Trust in science and in scientists has increased among the world’s population worldwide, according to the IFCN’s “Trust in Science Report: Global Insights on Science and Society” released Thursday. A new, global survey found the number of people who trust science or scientists increased to 61 percent in 2018 — up from the 54 percent of the world’s population who said the same thing in 2018, when the “trust in science and scientists” measures were last conducted.

The increase in trust is attributed to growing demand for science and expertise around the world — regardless of one’s socioeconomic status. One of the report’s findings is that public perception of scientists is not-so-different from what the public thinks of bankers and lawyers, with people placing trust in scientists because of their “diverse expertise” and their ability to help address important issues such as climate change, the economy and world peace.

“Despite prominent disagreements over many issues, Americans trust science more than they trust banking, media, government and peers,” the report said.

However, “belief in science and scientists varies greatly from one country to another and needs to be taught and discussed, both at national and global levels, as scientists and society actively seek common ground,” the IFCN report continued.

The IFCN survey polled 21,380 people from across 81 countries.

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