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I&I/TIPP Poll: The Distrust Of Scientists Is Widespread — Including On COVID Vaccines

A substantial portion of the country distrusts scientists. Is the politicization of science to blame?

Dr. Jonathan Hartwell (right) and his assistant Sylvy R. Levy Kornberg conduct some of the earliest chemotherapy tests
Dr. Jonathan Hartwell (right) and his assistant Sylvy R. Levy Kornberg conduct some of the earliest chemotherapy tests at the National Cancer Institute, about 1950.

From coronavirus vaccines and the virus’ origin to climate change, a substantial portion of the country distrusts scientists to do their jobs honestly and capably. The latest data from the September Issues & Insights/TIPP Poll also found significant differences among Americans of different political views, reflecting a growing politicization of science in America.

The I&I/TIPP poll asked Americans, “how much trust do you place in scientists” in three areas of science prominent in today’s headlines: “vaccine safety,” “climate change,” and “coronavirus origin.”

Overall, among the three, vaccine safety was tops in scientist trust, at 61%. Perhaps not surprisingly, that almost perfectly matches the share of the U.S. population currently vaccinated: 63%.

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