Saturday, March 31, 2012

About that, "Conservatives don't trust science study,":
CONFIDENCE IN SCIENCE BY CONSERVATIVES HAS DECLINED SINCE 1974: “That represents a dramatic shift for conservatives, who in 1974 were more likely than liberals or moderates (all categories based on self-identification) to express confidence in science. While the confidence levels of other groups in science have been relatively stable, the conservative drop now means that group is the least likely to have confidence in science.”
The reason is the use of science as an argument-from-authority for bigger government. If scientists want more trust, perhaps they should try not to be tools.
UPDATE: Reader Mary Ritenour writes:

I tracked back to the original paper ( to see what the exact survey question was.
“The GSS asked respondents the following question: “I am going to name some institutions in this country. As far as the people running these institutions are concerned, would you say you have a great deal of confidence, only some confidence, or hardly any confidence at all in them [the Scientific Community]?”(page 172)
The confidence in “people running these institutions” was being measured, not “Science” itself. Huge difference. HUGE!
Maybe we should be skeptical of science reporting, too.
Taken from Instapundit with emphasis added.  BTW, the study also pointed out that the more educated conservatives were the less likely they were to trust those running the Scientific Community.  Those with less education had greater faith in them.

Perhaps we haven't really forgotten the full warning of Dwight Eisenhower after all.

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” (emphasis added)

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