About nine-in-ten Americans see research scientists as intelligent, while a smaller majority describe them as good communicators.
Most Democrats think scientists should take an active role in policy debates, while 56% of Republicans say they should focus on establishing sound scientific facts.
For example, about four-in-ten of those who used mail-in DNA testing say they were surprised by results for where ancestors came from.
Americans have broadly positive views of scientists and their work but are more tepid when it comes to trusting their competence, credibility and concern for the public interest.
Most Americans think sending astronauts to Mars or the moon should be a lower priority for NASA – or say it should not be done at all.
A majority of Americans see at least some effect of climate change where they live. Partisans differ over the effects of climate policies.
About half of whites correctly answered at least nine of 11 science-related questions, compared with much smaller shares of Hispanics and blacks.
Americans' confidence in the scientific community as a whole has remained stable for decades, with 44% saying they have a great deal of confidence.
Most Americans believe the health benefits of the MMR vaccine are high and the risks are low. Many favor school-based vaccine requirements.
Tuesday is the 210th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Roughly eight-in-ten U.S. adults say humans have evolved over time.