An interesting study reveals a disjoint in the United States between how scientists rate their political views and what the general public expects them to be. Whereas 56% of scientists describe themselves as liberal, along with just 2% as conservative and 42% as ‘neither,’ members of the general public surveyed expected 64% of scientists to answer ‘neither,’ 20% to be liberal, and 9% to be conservative. The study also found that scientists are less skeptical of government and more critical of business than members of the population at large.
The blogger commenting on the study predicts that two things would happen if people learned the truth:
- “The public would consider scientists to be less authoritative as a neutral source on policy questions, and
- Since scientists are respected, the public would become less conservative and more liberal.”