1165   Individual paper

Science Communication and Political Divides in the U.S.

Author: Cary Funk
Pew Research Center, United States

This presentation will look at Americans' trust in scientists since the coronavirus outbreak with an eye to the implications for science communication. Drawing from a series of nationally representative surveys from Pew Research Center, we will examine the growing political differences in public trust in scientists and in beliefs about the threat posed by the coronavirus and the best ways to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. These divides have intensified leading up to the presidential election in which a center-piece issue has been the president’s handling of the outbreak. We will evaluate the extent to which public confidence in public health recommendations and a coronavirus vaccines has shifted over this period and the factors at play in those shifts. Analysis will examine the extent to which political divides over the coronavirus outbreak extend to beliefs and attitudes across other areas of science. Where possible, we will draw comparisons between U.S. public opinion and that in other Western nations. We will discuss ways to bridge political divisions over science and foster public engagement with science.

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