Large majorities value government investments in science and consider it important for the United States to be a world leader in scientific achievement, but few think the country is gaining ground globally.
Majorities of Americans say the United States should prioritize the development of renewable energy sources and take steps toward the country becoming carbon neutral by the year 2050. But just 31% want to phase out fossil fuels completely, and many foresee unexpected problems in a major transition to renewable energy.
Trust in scientists and medical scientists has fallen below pre-pandemic levels, with 29% of U.S. adults saying they have a great deal of confidence in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public. This is down from 40% in November 2020 and 35% in January 2019, before COVID-19 emerged. Other prominent groups – including the military, police officers and public school principals – have also seen their ratings decline.
Majorities say scientific research on gene editing is a misuse – rather than an appropriate use – of technology. But public acceptance of gene editing for babies depends on how it will be used, and views often differ by age and religion.
There is bipartisan support for several proposals to reduce the effects of climate change, especially for large scale tree-plantings to help absorb carbon emissions and offering tax credits to businesses that capture carbon emissions.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.