A recent poll has drawn a pretty drastic line between the way the American public and the science experts view the world and its issues. The considerable differences between these two large camps have been studied and recorded, and the results were not pretty.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center, showed that, in general, scientists are far less worried about issues like genetically modified food, pesticide effects, and the growing nuclear power than the American public.
On the other hand, people were less convinced on the matters of humanity’s blame for global warming, whether evolution is real or not, and about the realness of the overpopulation phenomenon. They also did not agree with the scientists about the necessity of vaccines against childhood diseases. The poll surveyed common people and scientists alike, asking them the same questions about the same science issues.
The results showed a gap of 20 percent or larger between the public’s opinions and the scientists’ concerning 8 out of 13 issues discussed. The scientists who participated in the survey were members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The most surprising difference in opinions concerned the safety of eating genetically modified foods, with 88 percent of scientists on the safe side, and just 37 percent of the public agreeing with them. In the same striking manner, 68 percent of scientists believe that eating food sprayed with pesticides is safe, whereas just 28 percent of the public thought the same.
Less shocking differences were recorded on the matters of human evolution, with 98 percent of scientists and 65 percent of public opinion agreeing with the theory. In the matter of vaccines, the gap closed even more, 86 percent of scientists and 68 percent of the public agreeing that childhood diseases should be eradicated through vaccination.
The building of more nuclear power plants received the thumbs up from two-third of scientists, while only 45 percent of the public agreed. Growing world population is a concern only for three out of five people, versus for four out of five scientists.
The online survey polled 2,000 adults and almost 4,000 AAAS members between August and the end of fall, last year. The conclusions show that most of scientists have a larger understanding of these issues, as expected, and they tend to evaluate these situations bases on reading risks and benefits clinically, unlike the opinions shown in the American public.
Image Source: Antagning
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