Different demographic groups think differently about scientific issues. For example, those more likely to think genetically modified food is unsafe include women, African-Americans and Hispanics, and those without college degrees. Those more likely to say parents should be able to decide whether to vaccinate their children include younger adults, Republicans and independents.
Despite broadly similar views about the overall place of science in America, there are striking differences between the public and scientists’ views on a host of science-related issues.
Americans are becoming more aware of the domestic energy boom and the recent drop in gas prices. Yet, views of energy policies have changed only modestly since 2011.
While Republicans and independents continue to favor constructing the Keystone XL pipeline, Democrats are divided. Opposition to the pipeline is most widespread among highly educated Democrats, liberals and Democrats with high family incomes.
As many Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming as say there is not (46% each). Among those who agree with the Tea Party, 70% say there is not solid evidence of warming, while 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans say global warming does exist.
Most Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline and increasing energy production from traditional sources. Yet the public also favors stricter greenhouse gas emission limits for power plants and is more opposed to fracking and nuclear power.
The Chinese public is increasingly worried about the quality of the country’s air and water. There is also widespread concern about inflation, inequality and corruption, and the safety of consumer goods and food.
Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas.
Two-thirds of Americans now say there is solid evidence of global warming and an increasing proportion also say that the rise in the earth's temperature has mostly been caused by human activity.
While Japanese prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has been trying to persuade local communities it is safe to restart two nuclear reactors, 70% of Japanese say their country should reduce its reliance on nuclear energy.