Alec Tyson is an associate director of research at Pew Research Center, where he studies public views of science and technology and the implications of science for society. He is an expert in U.S. survey research and has written about American public opinion on a range of topics, including U.S. generations, the growing role of partisanship in American life, climate change, the environment, and trust in scientists. Alec regularly presents findings from the Center’s studies to various groups in the academic, diplomatic and policy sectors and is a frequently quoted expert in national media. He is an active member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.
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.
Overall, 46% of Americans say the statement “public health officials were unprepared for the outbreak” describes their views extremely or very well, including similar shares of Republicans and Democrats.
Americans offer a lackluster evaluation of how the country has balanced priorities during the coronavirus outbreak. Fewer than half say the country has given the right amount of priority to the needs of K-12 students, public health or quality of life.
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.
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.