Trust in science and scientists grows amid pandemic

Global trust in science and scientists has grown immensely during the pandemic, according to a new report released by the health research foundation Wellcome Trust.

The organization's Wellcome Global Monitor survey found that 80 percent of people globally said they trust science either "a lot" or "some", and 77 percent said the same about scientists. The percentage of people who said they trust science and scientists "a lot" rose by 9 percentage points from when the foundation last released the report in 2018.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust scientists into the spotlight, where they have provided information and guidance affecting the day-to-day lives of billions of people," said Lara Clements, Wellcome Trust's director of public engagements and campaigns.

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"In both 2018 and 2020, we saw a link between people’s perceived knowledge of science and their trust in science. As the pandemic has brought science into more people’s lives, it is perhaps no surprise that people’s trust in science and scientists has risen so much," said Clements.

According to the report, people in Australia and New Zealand said they trust science and scientists the most, with 62 percent saying so. At 19 percent, people surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa expressed the lowest degree of trusting science and scientists "a lot."

The report was conducted by the Gallup World Poll and involved asking over 119,000 people over the age of 15 across 113 different countries and territories about their views on science during the pandemic. The survey was conducted from August 2020 to February 2021.