• Home
  • Current News
  • Can We Stop Already with the Idea the Public Lost Trust in Science?

Can We Stop Already with the Idea the Public Lost Trust in Science?

Written by Roger Pielke Jr.

The figure below comes from the 2016 NSF Science and Engineering Indicators, and it shows long-term trends in public trust in various US institutions.  Clearly, there is no long-term trend in trust in science.fig07-18_1449609054396

Here is the same sort of data for Europe (source here in PDF):


This data comes from Ipsos MORI, and while the graph won’t win any awards for visualization, it clearly shows that trust in science has increased in the EU, over at least the past decade. For more discussion see this article, titled, Trust in Science and Scientists in Europe is Not Eroding.

It is popular, I know,  to complain that public trust in science has decreased and scientists are ignored. The evidence does not support such complaints.

I will follow up with a discussion of the expedient confusion of “impact” with political power. Would-be science advisors confuse the two routinely.

Read more at thehonestbroker.org

Comments (1)

  • Avatar

    Jeff Greenwell


    Roger, I don’t believe what you are presenting here, or perhaps it is just not appropriately framed. I am a software engineer of more than 30 years experience. I have worked within a vast array of disciplines and industry. I currently work with several hundred other engineers and physicists. I do not “trust” science. Let me clarify this. I don’t trust “science” enough to trust anything presented straight out of hand. I must verify everything I read or is presented to me. This is not “trust”. If I had trust in what I am being told from the scientific community, I would not have to spend effort, energy and resources to validate theories and claims made by the scientific community, which far too often the results of such inquiry reveal what I now call “fake science”. There is far too much “fake science” being propagated and paraded as “fact”.

    I do not “trust” science, and I only trust scientific claims once I am able to verify them. I am confident I am not the only one, and perhaps a majority.

Comments are closed