Americans’ trust in science now deeply polarized, poll shows

#1
C C Offline
Americans’ trust in science now deeply polarized, poll shows
https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-p...4107627a5e

RELEASE: Republicans’ faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, new survey data shows. It’s the largest gap in nearly five decades of polling by the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago that has been measuring confidence in institutions since 1972.

That is unsurprising to more than a dozen scientists reached for comment by The Associated Press, but it concerns many of them. “We are living at a time when people would rather put urine or cleaning chemicals in their body than scientifically vetted vaccines,” University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd told the AP in an email. “That is a clear convergence of fear, lack of critical thinking, confirmation bias and political tribalism.”

“But we now see it falling prey to the great partisan divide,” he said. “The world of science should be a meeting house where right and left can agree on data. Instead, it’s becoming a sharp razor’s edge of conflict.”

Overall, 48% of Americans say they have “a great deal” of confidence in the scientific community, the 2021 General Social Survey data shows. Sixty-four percent of Democrats say that, compared with roughly half as many Republicans, 34%. The gap was much smaller in 2018, when 51% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans had high confidence.

The poll also found a gap emerging on confidence in medicine, driven primarily by increasing confidence among Democrats. Forty-five percent of Democrats said they had a great deal of confidence in medicine, compared with 34% of Republicans.

The deepening polarization was not evident for other institutions asked about on the poll, according to Jennifer Benz, deputy director of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. “It’s certainly plausible that this is a result of how politicized the pandemic became in the months between when it emerged and when the survey ran,” Benz said. “It is definitely a stark change for these particular trends on confidence in scientific leaders and leaders in medicine, to see this degree of polarization.”

The data suggest Republicans and Democrats are following the cues of their leaders, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

“We’ve seen so much criticism (and worse) leveled at medical experts since the beginning of the pandemic from the former president, other Republican leaders and the conservative media, and just the opposite from the current president, Democratic leaders, and the mainstream and liberal media,” Leiserowitz told the AP in an email.

Kelvin Droegemeier, former science adviser to President Donald Trump, said he thinks the pandemic increased the general public’s insight into how scientific research works but the ever-evolving science probably seemed chaotic at times and the urgency of the pandemic complicated policymaking.

“We hear ‘follow the science,’ but which results? The challenge lies in how to best use the scientific results, recognizing that what appears to be an ‘answer’ one day may be overturned, wholly or partly, another day,” Droegemeier told the AP in an email.

That messiness, sometimes weak communication and political philosophies play into the trust gap, said Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, which was set up by President Abraham Lincoln to offer the federal government expert advice.

Scientists and policy makers tend to be conservative — not politically but in terms of being cautious and wary of risk — pushing safety, masks and vaccines while “Republicans as a group value individual liberty,” McNutt said.

“So no wonder that Republicans are less supportive of the scientifically conservative decisions in the face of uncertainty,” she told the AP in an email.

John Holdren, who was President Barack Obama’s science adviser, said he blames GOP leaders’ “nonstop denial and deception.”

The consequence of declining trust in the scientific community among Republicans is clear: AP-NORC polling shows Republicans continue to be less likely than Democrats to be vaccinated.

Sudip Parikh, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general science organization, said it’s clear that science has become a wedge issue for many politicians. Some have tied themselves to it, he said, and others have seen value in shooting at it “because it helps them politically.”

“It’s easy in the abstract to trust science,” Parikh said. “When there are things that come out of that the data that challenge what you are hoping the policy answer would be, you get divergence from wanting to trust the science.”

Parikh said he found it ironic that much of the distrust in science is spread by technology — social media, smartphones — that only exists because of scientific advances.

Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson agreed: “The struggle continues, trying to get the general public to embrace all of the science the way they unwittingly embrace the science in their smartphones.”
___

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago. Sample sizes for each year’s survey vary from about 1,500 to about 4,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The most recent survey was conducted Dec. 1, 2020, through May 3, 2021, and includes interviews with 4,032 American adults. Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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Inner Cynic: Seriously -- Tyson thinks "science across the board" is credible? Not just the physical sciences, but also that replication crisis, publish or perish, academic standards compromised, predatory publishing, etc, realm of the human (psychological, social) and biomedical sciences?

Parikh equates the success of disciplines tied to technology and engineering (where things actually have to work over the long haul) with a division of science riddled with the aforementioned, as well as driven by prescriptive agendas invented in that ideologically swollen hound dog of the humanities that the administrations of the human and biomedical sciences reciprocally hump on?


Plus, this irony of survey data collection itself being a cornerstone of research in the troubled and unreliable social sciences. An inquiry process that might as well be a black box in terms of how one was conducted, if few have the time to track down the documentation of a study's specific details pertaining to items like how individuals are classified, the questions, and any pre-existing assumptions and biases of the investigative template to ferret out, as well the expertise for deciphering any particular mode of obscuring, in-house technobabble.
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#2
Syne Offline
(Jan 28, 2022 08:20 PM)C C Wrote: That is unsurprising to more than a dozen scientists reached for comment by The Associated Press, but it concerns many of them. “We are living at a time when people would rather put urine or cleaning chemicals in their body than scientifically vetted vaccines,” University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd told the AP in an email. “That is a clear convergence of fear, lack of critical thinking, confirmation bias and political tribalism.”
Bullshit from the same out of touch eggheads that have to conduct studies to find out that fat girls date less. It's scientists doing this exact sort of characterizing Republicans as "people [who] would rather put urine or cleaning chemicals in their body than scientifically vetted vaccines" that makes people distrust science. They just keep digging their own hole deeper and deeper, while whining about not being able to see afield. The real "political tribalism" is the people demanding that other lose their freedoms and bodily autonomy in order to conform with the edicts of their "betters."

Quote:“But we now see it falling prey to the great partisan divide,” he said. “The world of science should be a meeting house where right and left can agree on data. Instead, it’s becoming a sharp razor’s edge of conflict.”
The leftists in academia and beyond misusing science for their own political agendas is the root cause of the partisan divide on science. No one attacked anyone for getting vaccinated or wearing a mask, but plenty of people have been physically attacked, lost their jobs, etc. for not wearing a mask or getting vaccinated. That's the real demonstration of "fear, lack of critical thinking, confirmation bias and political tribalism."

Quote:The data suggest Republicans and Democrats are following the cues of their leaders, said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

“We’ve seen so much criticism (and worse) leveled at medical experts since the beginning of the pandemic from the former president, other Republican leaders and the conservative media, and just the opposite from the current president, Democratic leaders, and the mainstream and liberal media,” Leiserowitz told the AP in an email.
More bullshit, as only leftists slavishly follow their leaders. If Republicans did, Trump would have never been elected, as he upset the apple cart of Republican leadership at the time. So this is just left academics projecting their own behavior.
And let's no forget (with lefts' notoriously short memories) that Democrats fomented all kinds of distrust in the vaccine, while Trump was due the credit. Note how they deceptively say "the opposite from the current president, Democratic leaders, and the mainstream and liberal media." They just pretend the former positions of all those leftists didn't contribute to any of the current divide. They're either lying or delusional.

Quote:“We hear ‘follow the science,’ but which results? The challenge lies in how to best use the scientific results, recognizing that what appears to be an ‘answer’ one day may be overturned, wholly or partly, another day,” Droegemeier told the AP in an email.
The problem is that the science cannot determine public policy, as there are always more factors than medical ones. So scientists trying to make policy is not only ultracrepidarian but it makes science, itself, appear authoritarian...which runs counter to science's eschewing of fallacious appeals to authority.

Quote:That messiness, sometimes weak communication and political philosophies play into the trust gap, said Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, which was set up by President Abraham Lincoln to offer the federal government expert advice.
And that messiness was all the doing of leftists, whether in office, media, academia, etc.. Trump was busy fast tracking the vaccines while Dems fearmongered about the vaccines themselves. And then Democrats ensure resistance to the vaccines by pushing authoritarian mandates...usually by executive fiat rather than proper legislation.

Quote:Scientists and policy makers tend to be conservative — not politically but in terms of being cautious and wary of risk — pushing safety, masks and vaccines while “Republicans as a group value individual liberty,” McNutt said.
Not promoting or encouraging but "pushing," with force in some cases.

Quote:John Holdren, who was President Barack Obama’s science adviser, said he blames GOP leaders’ “nonstop denial and deception.”
Look in a mirror dipshit.
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#4
billvon Offline
(Jan 28, 2022 08:20 PM)C C Wrote: Americans’ trust in science now deeply polarized, poll shows
https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-p...4107627a5e

RELEASE: Republicans’ faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, new survey data shows. It’s the largest gap in nearly five decades of polling by the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago that has been measuring confidence in institutions since 1972.
Never thought I'd see the day when one political party rejects science because it's showing them things they don't want to see.

There have been precedents, of course.  The "know nothing" party of the 1850's was a populist, xenophobic party that fed on the fear that many people felt over the Catholic church and the large numbers of immigrants coming in to the US.  The Christian Scientist sect rejects modern medicine in favor of prayer, and this has led to some very high profile deaths of children who were not given medical care when they fell ill.  And the Luddites of the 1850's were violently opposed to technology that they felt would take their jobs and render them obsolete.

But today you would think that, as members of a technological society, we'd see more understanding of the foundations of the science that got us here.  But nowadays understanding of science is almost a litmus test to see what party you belong to.  Reject vaccines?  Intentionally misunderstand climate change, or deny it altogether?  Deny that masks work, which is a technology successfully used in hospitals for decades?  Think that COVID is fake?  Think that pollution doesn't hurt anyone, or that the ozone hole was a "fake problem?"  Nowadays that means you're a republican.
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#5
Syne Offline
Piss off, moron. We all know you're only here to do your usual, if infrequent, drive-by posting, with zero intent of engaging in any substantial discussion...with anyone. But in case you've managed to change your stripes...

The left has a problem with conflating their agenda with actual science. Moron leftists ignorantly assume that rejection of their agenda is tantamount to rejection of science, when it is not.

The party was progressive in its stances on "issues of labor rights and the need for more government spending" and furnished "support for an expansion of the rights of women, regulation of industry, and support of measures designed to improve the status of working people."
...
Many also hoped that it would stake out a middle ground between the pro-slavery positions of Democratic politicians and the radical anti-slavery positions of the rapidly emerging Republican Party.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing

Sounds a lot more akin to the progressive, appeasing modern Democrats.

Studies have also shown that Republiucans understand science (even while disagreeing with some of its theories/conclusions) better than Democrats, which is why Democrats have such a hard time remembering what actual science is. And trying to paint all Republicans by a relative few extremes is just intellectually lazy.

What I really mean is piss off. Did I mention that?
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#6
Yazata Offline
(Jan 28, 2022 08:20 PM)C C Wrote: Americans’ trust in science now deeply polarized, poll shows
https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-p...4107627a5e

RELEASE: Republicans’ faith in science is falling as Democrats rely on it even more, with a trust gap in science and medicine widening substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, new survey data shows.

The issue is not distrust of science as a philosophical abstraction. It's a demand that science return to its objective and politically disinterested ideals. In particular it's distrust for the motivations of many of the people who presume to speak in the name of science to the general public. It's distrust as well of the idea that anything said in the name of science must simply be believed by laypeople with all expressions of doubt forbidden.

It's dangerous and intellectually unjustifiable to hand anyone that kind of intellectual blank check. Doubly so given the excessive politization of the academic world these days, sadly including far too many scientists. Science turns into a caricature of itself when it demands that the people turn off their critical thinking skills and simply believe whatever authority figures tell them.

When it behaves that way, science has somehow become something very similar to the medieval church.
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#7
Magical Realist Offline
Quote:Science turns into a caricature of itself when it demands that the people turn off their critical thinking skills and simply believe whatever authority figures tell them.

When it behaves that way, science has somehow become something very similar to the medieval church

And like religion, which contains many paradoxes and unexplainables, science also has its inherent mysteries and riddles. The vast majority of people have to exercise a sort of faith in the authority of science that its theories and principles are true and comprehensible to the small minority of scientists. Ex: I don't fully understand quantum theory, but I am content with science's assurances that it is certain and well proven.
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