A lot of people don’t believe what scientists have to say about many things anymore. They are suspicious about scientists’ opinions about climate change, effective vaccines, genetically modified crops, and several other things. This is what the latest study by the Pew Research Center revealed.
Scientific theories and most other things related to science do not impress a lot of people lately. They don’t trust scientists today unlike before although a high percentage admits that science has made their living condition much better.
The reason for this, according to the authors, is the absence of candor on the part of scientific community towards the public. The authors say, scientists should not restrict themselves inside their labs and offices and exert more efforts in going out and explaining their concepts and ideas using plain language without resorting in scientific gobbledygook.
The PEW study was based on a random survey involving scientists who belong to the American Association for the Advancement of Science or AAAS. Also included in the research are the results gleaned from 2,002 American adults from all over the country also using the random approach.
The chief executive of the AAAS, Alan Leshner, lately said that the organization was behind science but on one condition, society should benefit from it. The public won’t be able to profit from science if the members of the scientific community are not aware what advantages it has to offer.
The lingering doubts that the public has about science is its inability to recognize what science can offer them because of scientists themselves. According to the Pew survey, that approximately 80 percent of Americans who are not very particular about what science has done to the society, believe that it helped a lot in making their lives more comfortable. Concurrently, 70 percent of them believe that the government is doing right by financing research projects in engineering and technology that often yield benefits.
However, there still exists a wide disparity between what scientists are doing and the public perception of it. One good example of this is that approximately only 37 percent of American adults believe that genetically modified foods are edible compared to 88 percent of the scientists. Another example is only twenty eight percent of the society agrees that crops with pesticides are not dangerous compared to 68 percent of the AAAS members.
On the issue of climate change, only 50 percent of American adults agree that it is the result of man’s abuse, compared to 87 percent of the scientists.
In one of the most sensitive issues plaguing the country today, child vaccination, the PEW study shows that only as much as 68 percent of Americans trust it while 86 percent of the scientists do.