Study shows massive trust in scientists

Written by S.A. Burt, CNN

Trust in science and scientists is on the rise, according to a new study.

In a global survey of 2,500 respondents in 15 countries, IHS Markit found a 67% increase in trust in science and scientists in 2018, compared to five years ago.

The study surveyed people from every continent.

Despite a more positive outlook, trust in science and scientists is still far less widespread than in previous decades.

One-third of respondents worldwide said they trusted scientists with the power to solve their problems. Only 19% say they trust scientists to avoid dangerous problems, according to the survey.

These numbers are little changed from one year ago.

Stefan Holden, director of research at IHS Markit, says climate change and increasing numbers of older scientists are reasons for the lower confidence level. He says that as more scientists hit retirement age in the next few years, trust in science is likely to drop again.

Six years ago, Holden says the global economic crisis played a role in the drop in trust.

But now that trust in science and scientists has stabilized, the focus is on the “future state of science,” Holden says.

He says people are looking for policymakers to create a regulatory environment that benefits scientists and the public.

Trust in scientists has been on the rise globally

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