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Infographic – US Public Supports Govt Science Spending

Chart: U.S. trust in science

(Pew Research Center)

29 Oct. 2022. Most Americans believe the U.S. should be the world leader in scientific achievement, and support continued U.S. government investments in science. But a survey of American adults conducted by the Pew Research Center in September also shows a large segment of the public believes the U.S. is slipping in scientific achievements compared to other countries.

According to the Pew Center findings, more than half (54%) of Americans believe it’s very important for the U.S. to be a world leader in scientific achievements, while another 37 percent rate world leadership in science somewhat important. In addition, eight in 10 Americans (81%) say government spending in scientific research is a worthwhile investment over time, while nearly two in 10 (18%) disagree.

At the same time, nearly four in 10 Americans (37%) believe the U.S. is losing ground in scientific achievement compared to the rest of the world. Almost half of respondents (47%) say the U.S. staying about the same in science compared to the rest of the world, while only 14 percent believe the country is gaining ground.

Roughly three-quarters (77%) of Americans have a fair amount or a great deal of “confidence in scientists to act in the best interests of the public,” while about a quarter (23%) have not too much or no confidence at all. In April 2020, in the early stages of the U.S. Covid-19 pandemic, 87 percent of Americans expressed at least a fair amount of confidence in scientists working in the the public’s best interests, while 12 percent had not too much or none at all.

Pew Research Center conducted the survey online with 10,588 U.S. adults taking part in the Center’s American Trends Panel from 13 to 18 Sept. 2022. Participants are recruited through national random sampling of U.S. households, with results weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population.

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