Oct 25, 2022 - Health

Just 15% of Republicans have "great deal" of confidence in scientists

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies.

Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, testifies before Congress. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Just 15% of Republicans have a "great deal" of confidence in scientists to act in the best interest of the American people, according to the Pew Research Center.

Why it matters: Democrats and Republicans disagree on the role of scientists in public policy — and that divide has only grown wider since the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the numbers: Democrats have higher trust in scientists than Republicans.

  • 41% of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party have a great deal of confidence in scientists. Nearly all (89%) have at least a fair amount of confidence. About 1-in-10 Democrats have a negative view of scientists.
  • 15% of Republicans and Republican leaners have a strong level of confidence in scientists when it comes to the public arena. About 36% have little or no confidence in scientists.
  • A majority (63%) of Republicans did have a fair amount of confidence in scientists to act in the best interests of the public.

The big picture: Democrats and Republicans have been "at odds over science-related questions" during the pandemic, especially when it comes to the coronavirus threat, public policy response, mask-wearing and vaccines, according to Pew.

Go deeper: Fauci: Republican detractors are "criticizing science"

Methodology: Figures in the story come from a new Pew Research Center survey that was conducted from Sept. 13 to 18, 2022. About 10,000 panelists responded out of 11,687 who were sampled.

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