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Pew Research Center: Trust and Mistrust in Americans' Views of Scientific Experts

A report published by the Pew Research Center in August 2019 examined the levels of trust and mistrust in scientific experts among the American public. This report was based on a nationally representative survey of 4,464 American adults that was conducted by the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel in January 2019. Although the report found that "public confidence in scientists is on the upswing, and six-in-ten Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific issues," it also found that "Americans tend to trust science practitioners, who directly provide treatments and recommendations to the public, more than researchers working in the same areas." When asked what factors could increase their trust, the majority said that "open access to data and independent review [would] inspire more trust in research findings." Those interested in further details can read the full 96-page report online or download it as a PDF at the link above, along with the survey's topline questionnaire results. Summary findings for several scientific sectors, such as medical doctors, nutrition research scientists, and environmental research scientists, are also provided. This report was authored by Pew researchers Cary Funk, Meg Hefferon, Brian Kennedy, and Courtney Johnson.
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