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Infographic – Public Down on Industry-Funded Science

U.S. trust in science

Click on image for full-size view (Pew Research Center)

12 Oct. 2019. While a majority of Americans say they trust research findings that are open to public inspection, about the same number does not trust industry-funded science. Those data, reported last week by the Pew Research Center, are the infographic this weekend on Science & Enterprise.

Pew Research Center surveyed 4,464 adults in the U.S. over the web in January 2019, from a panel of 13,569 participants in the group’s American Trends Panel. The results show Americans by wide margins are more likely to trust scientific research where the findings are open to the public (57% more, 8% less) and reviewed by an independent committee (52% more, 10% less).

Yet by about the same margin, Americans distrust research findings funded by private industry, with nearly 6 in 10 (58%) less like and only 1 in 10 (10%) more likely to trust the results. In each case, about a third of respondents, from 32 to 37 percent, say these factors don’t make much of a difference.

Trust in government-funded research returns a split decision from Americans. About half of respondents (48%) say government funding doesn’t make a difference in trusting the outcomes, but nearly 3 in 10 (28%) say they’re less likely to trust government-funded science, while about a quarter (23%) are more likely to trust the findings if government-sponsored.

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