A new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Americans can answer basic questions about several scientific terms and concepts, such as the layers of the Earth and the elements needed to make nuclear energy.
A deeper examination of views about key science topics by members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
The general public’s political views are strongly linked to their attitudes on climate and energy issues. But politics is a less important factor on biomedical, food safety, space issues.
A solid majority of U.S. Catholics believe that Earth is warming. But climate change is a highly politicized issue that sharply divides American Catholics, like the U.S. public as a whole, mainly along political party lines.
At the AAAS 2015 Annual Meeting, Lee Rainie discussed new findings about how scientists use a variety of methods to bring their work to the general public.
Most scientists (87%) believe it is important to participate in public policy debates. Almost half use social media to discuss or follow science, and nearly a quarter blog about science and research.
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.
Scientists and their work have an important place in every major aspect of American life. Many hope that advances in science will improve people's lives and enhance the economy.
Americans agree the next 50 years will be a period of profound scientific change, but they are divided on which developments will come to pass and whether they would be a good or bad thing for society.