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From the American Academy of Arts & Sciences comes Perceptions of Science in America, a data-driven report released in February 2018. This report uses decades of data from public opinion surveys to examine the American public's general views on science, "such as confidence in the scientific community and support for science funding." The report also delves into the influence of demographics on Americans' general perceptions of science and scientists and it appraises the perceptions of three science topics (vaccine safety, genetically modified foods, and climate change) as case studies. The report's major findings show that, while confidence in science is generally positive and stable, the degree of confidence varies among different demographic groups and science topics, meaning that science communicators should be cognizant that there are multiple publics that must be considered for effective communication. This report is part of a three-year project launched in 2016 called The Public Face of Science, which examines "the complex and evolving relationship between scientists and the public." At the link above, interested readers may view the complete report online or download it as a 44-page PDF. For those who may wish to present the report's findings to an audience, PowerPoint slides are also available.
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Date of Scout Publication 2019-03-22
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