On September 30, the Pew Research Center released survey results that represent a picture of how the publics of 20 different countries view science and the technologies it enables. The results are mixed and interesting to examine in some detail to understand how much and on what issues “science” – or what passes for it in the early twenty-first century – is trusted by the general public.
For background, the Pew Center is a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which in turn are the foundations set up by the generally conservative Pew family, scions of the Sun Oil Company, who date back to the late nineteenth century struggle for control of the Pennsylvania oil fields.
Normally, study reports spend some time discussing the details of how survey data was gathered. But with 20 countries, each with its own independent surveys, we›ll just note that at least 1,000 people were surveyed in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Note that the surveys were done before the shutdowns associated with Covid-19.
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