Gene Drive Supplement

Study: No One-size-Fits-All Representation of Trust in Science and Scientists

February 22, 2023

Researchers from Australia and New Zealand studied the relationship of trust with social attitudes and motivations in forming perspectives on scientific issues such as climate change, vaccines, and gene drives. The findings are published in the Journal of Trust Research.

Trust in science and scientists (TSS) is an emerging field of interest that explores science applications and their impact to society. The role of TSS among scientific topics may vary, depending on other psychosocial factors involved. Researchers surveyed 8,199 participants from New Zealand to explore TSS, focusing on vaccines, climate change, and gene drive.

Researchers went beyond TSS to include other variables such as institutional trust and overall support to status quo preservation and fear of the unknown. The findings showed a strong correlation between TSS and lower vaccine skepticism, as well as with moderate support to gene drive. However, TSS had no relevant impact on climate skepticism, according to the study.

Results indicate there is no one-size-fits-all variable that represents trust in science and scientists. Therefore, authors recommend that future studies explore the impact of trust in institutions and TSS have with social attitudes and motivations over other scientific applications.

Read the full article in the Journal of Trust Research.

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