A new Gallup poll finds that nearly 75 percent of the world’s population said they have trust in scientists as the people who provide objective information on important topics.
The survey of nearly 30,000 adults worldwide found that, of the 10 countries where trust in scientists is highest, Canada, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom have the highest percentages of public trust in scientists in their respective countries.
Trust in scientists is also high in China and Venezuela, and it is low in Nigeria, Thailand, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan.
Trust is lowest in Nicaragua, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Russia, Cuba, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S.
Here are the top 10 countries for science trust:
Canada Finland Sweden Netherlands France Denmark Germany Norway UK
“They are critical to our population’s health, safety and well-being,” said Gallup’s Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which focuses on making well-informed decisions using an independent assessment of scientific consensus on a range of issues. “As a result, it is important to prioritize scientific and technology investment. The poll results suggest that promoting science has real potential to boost the global economy.”
Nine in 10 in the world trust experts more than anyone else to provide unbiased information on global issues. Nearly 9 in 10 do so in the U.S. However, there is a difference by region.
For instance, in Africa more than 2 in 5 trust experts over anyone else in a survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in 2010. In North America, by contrast, there is a difference between men and women — only 57 percent of men and 77 percent of women agree with that statement.
That African people are more likely to trust experts in this continent makes sense. The history of scientific discovery includes many medical advances, advances in agriculture and medicine that have benefited humankind and impacted the lives of countless Africans.
Eight in 10 people in developing countries do not trust leaders to provide unbiased information on global issues, the Gallup survey showed. However, the differences by region are less severe.
Among those in Africa, 61 percent do not trust leaders. Across the globe, those levels are 59 percent in South America, 61 percent in the Western Hemisphere and 58 percent in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Researchers at Gallup said that the poll numbers could provide information about the importance of promoting U.S. science education.