Public confidence in scientists is relatively strong compared with trust in other institutional groups. Only the military earns more confidence from the public.
Minorities of people express strong trust in scientists’ understanding of the causes of climate change (28%) or the health effects of eating GM foods (19%), saying that scientists understand these matters “very well.” About half of people (47%) say the same about medical scientists’ understanding of the health effects of the MMR vaccine.
People hold mixed assessments about the influences operating on science research. About half of people (52%) say that the best available scientific evidence influences medical research on childhood vaccines “most of the time,” while some 36% say this occurs “some of the time” and another 9% say this seldom or never happens. There is even less public trust in research connected with climate change and GM foods; roughly three in 10 people say the best available scientific evidence influences climate research or GM food research “most of the time.”
Private volunteers working to keep their communities safe when the police fail to.