The uncomfortable conclusions of a new survey of public trust in science
Correlations in general are unreliable. Backtesting for correlations is unethical. It is done all the time in the investment industry. You have to choose the right correlation to be valid, and I don't see it in these numbers. The correlation that would be interesting is Atheist vs. believers in God. Better yet, Christians and non-Christians. Although science has brought some scientist and many people to believe in God, it has caused many others to reject God. Per Pew Research 83% of Americans believe in God. 33% of Scientists believe in God. This is important, because when you take God out of science you MUST come to conclusions every single time that don't allow for his existence and don't agree with those who do believe, thus the lack of trust follows the growing number of atheist scientists.
Science, like media, is largely involved in narrative control.
When we see how badly science performed with Covid and climate I’m surprised even 10% have a positive view.
Roger should consider his position in life as both a climate scientist and a media type:
He is here on Substack because there is little place for ethical people in those professions today.
That’s how it is.
Science has always been presented as objective and devoid of political influence. Perhaps the money flow to research and its political powers needs to be examined in any discussion of the political leanings of the so-called “educated.”
If you wish to examine a scientific political divide, how grant money is obtained needs to be explored. Follow the money, be it in science or politics. It has been reported that grant proposals for research, an academic scientist’s lifeblood, must conform to the proper/"Politically in Power" group's point of view, or little funding is available.
As Scientists need money to survive and prosper like anyone else, the above should be considered in any discussion of that group's political leanings.
What also needs to be examined is the role of group pressure in the so-called "educated class'" professed political leanings.
When Fauci declares "I am science", that's no longer science, that's scientism. As noted "Americans who express the highest degree of confidence in scientific and medical experts—secular white Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or higher—appear to be relatively exceptional." The key word in this statement is 'secular'. Science is really treated like a religion by the secularists, and is not really 'trust' they have, but 'faith' Maybe the real problem here is that people are not losing trust in science but in scientism.
Something I noticed interacting with my mom who didn't take the vaccine was specific arguments weren't particularly effective. It was a matter of who do you trust and she did not trust the institutions or the mainstream scientists
I trust the scientists both to do good work and to be exceptionally biased and have major blind spots from living in an ever tightening bubble. Things may get worse before they get better but I do also trust that things will get better, if we choose it
You reference Michael Mann. His entire output, apparently including his new book, is based on preaching that additional CO2 in the atmosphere leads to horrific global warming. two facts. First, neither he nor anyone else has put forward a proof that this hypthesis is correct. Second, the recently available NASA data on atmospheric absorption of earth's radiation shows that the present level of CO2 is sufficient to absorb all Of the Earth's radiation that is susceptible to absorbtion by CO2, Meaning that more CO2 can have no effect. This data is from 1991, but hidden by one of Mann's associates in 1992. But obviously available to Mann in 1992. He has admitted that this is true, only saying that there are other frequencies, unspecified. He is still peddling this nonsense as his position and livlihood depend on it. That is is doing untold damage to the world seems to not interest him. It seems that even the IPCC is slithering its way out of supporting the CO2 hypothesis.
It would be very interesting to see how political alignment is affected by university degrees in the humanities vs degrees in STEM subjects, particularly engineering. I would imagine those in the climate science community would align with Democrats but the others?
1. Trust is linked to belief, so I imagine there is (somewhere) a survey that aligns mistrust in "science" with creationism.
2. Some well-known totalitarian systems of the recent past have exploited scientific methods to advance their powers.
3. Angus Deaton & Ann Case have aligned lack of educational achievement with "deaths of despair".
In general, I think it is WAY too late for the 'scientific community' to just 'burnish your images' a bit to reclaim public trust, and I say this from the point of view of a research scientist at a world-class antennas and radar research laboratory. It is clear to me that reputable science can no longer be conducted in any field that doesn't have a tight correlation between experimental results and fundamental physics and math; any field, such as climate 'science', 'gender science', 'social science', psychology, etc. that CAN be corrupted has already BEEN corrupted. No scientific journals, except those where math and experimental results can be easily replicated are in the least bit trustable anymore - they are just politically correct yellow journalism now.
Convince me that I'm wrong; convince me that you could write a paper that isn't fully in line with the current 'climate narrative' and have it published in ANY peer-reviewed journal.
This is an interesting post and not really surprising. I interact with friends across the political and education attainment spectrum. For most, the realization that they have been misled, facts shaded or outright lied, to has led to not so much disbelief but skepticism. "Show me the data and I'll decide for myself."
"Here is where things may get a bit uncomfortable for the scientific community — to the extent that the community, or more accurately, its influencers and leaders seek to pursue the community’s narrow interests over the broader common interest values expressed by the public, the public will overall increasingly lose confidence in the scientific community, while those who most closely share the scientific community’s narrow interests will express increasing confidence in science."
This paragraph (or at least the second half), is hard for me to understand; it sounds like you are saying the same thing twice. First you say that pursuit of narrow scientific community interests to the detriment of the broader public tends to erode public trust in that community, and then you say that the same people who pursue those narrow scientific values express increasing confidence in those values - DUH!!
Maybe just remove the second phrase, starting with "...,while..." or make a separate sentence that is more well defined?
Just my $5.99 ($0.02 adjusted for Bidenomics)
Exhibit A: https://www.theclimatebrink.com/p/adaptation-to-climate-change-will?utm_source=post-email-title&publication_id=1593097&post_id=136123693&utm_campaign=email-post-title&isFreemail=true&r=dl1jk&utm_medium=email
Highly educated (PhD) white guy here (UK), formerly left-wing, formerly technocratic. Now cured of both and filled with regret that I ever thought my views had any greater worth than those with lesser educational attainment or with conservative or populist attitudes.
Recent irritations with scientists:
1: Academic support (or silence) for utterly unscientific gender ideology; moral cowardice when colleagues who spoke out against it were cancelled or lost their careers.
2: Silence in the face of obvious failures in everything to do with pandemic handling, from NPIs to vaccine harms. 'Follow/Trust THE science' - I don't recall the chorus of scientists publicly challenging this nonsense.
3: Silence in the face of overblown climate alarmism. 'THE science is settled' - as in (2)
You are right - politicisation plays a major role here. If you had more right-wing scientists, then you would have far less of 1-3.
You might argue that my choice of topics is unfair; scientists have families to feed, they need to keep their jobs, and they can't challenge the system or risk their research funding. This does not inspire confidence that we should trust what scientists say; it just maybe partially mitigates their culpability.
My financial advisor who I shall not name insists that the stock market does better under Democrats then Republicans and they show the history. Perhaps that’s why the wealthy vote Democrat. Like most Americans people vote their pocket book.
Another classic by RPJr! I now see how the theory of Post-Normal Science can contribute to the political debate. The elitist mainstream science is 'neo-normal' - obedient puzzle-solving within the official paradigm. PNS reminds us of uncertainty & complexity, and calls for the involvement of the 'extended peer community' (not just 'extended peer review'). This is essential for quality, of science, of decision making, and of governance & society.