Americans divided on whether recent science protests will benefit scientists' causes

Americans are split in their support of recent science marches and whether these events will make a difference, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Some 44% of U.S. adults think the protests, marches, and demonstrations will boost public support for science, while an equal share (44%) believe the protests will make no difference and 7% believe the demonstrations will actually hurt the cause.

The representative survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults finds consistent divides on this topic along political and generational lines. Fully 61% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents believe the marches will increase for , while only 22% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say the same. Instead, 60% of these Republican supporters think the protests will make no difference, compared with just 32% of Democratic partisans who think that.

Younger adults, ages 18 to 29, are particularly likely to think the marches will increase public support for science (55%). Yet 54% of seniors, ages 65 and older, believe the recent science marches will make no difference to public for science and just 29% say the marches will help.

"The data speak to the difficulties of making the case for science in the politically polarized environment," said Cary Funk, lead author and associate director of research at Pew Research Center. "These survey findings show the American public is closely split in their views about the protesters' goals—a sizeable share of the public is aligned with the protesters' arguments but a roughly similar share are either opposed to the goals of the protesters or have yet to be convinced."

These are some of the findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,012 adults, ages 18 or older from May 3-7, 2017. The margin of sampling error based on the full sample is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.


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May 12, 2017
Most of what I read about the protests showed they were less about science and more about various left-wing causes. ALL the leaders were prophets of leftist culture. Science was drowned out.

May 12, 2017
Sure it hurt the cause of science. Breakthroughs were delayed by 1 day for the march and maybe more as researchers used research time to prepare for the march.
We only have one way to judge a researcher contribution to society and that is by the amount and quality of research they produce.
A discovery that can save literally millions of lives was delayed by a day and thats a lot of lives lost.

May 12, 2017
If nothing else I think it's good to let those who sit behind desks and make decisions that impact other people's lives know that the tendency to dispell sciencetific knowledge in general among many politicians and decision makers will not be taken without a fight.

May 12, 2017
taken without a fight.


At what cost? Your mother's or child's life, that would have been saved had that breakthrough come one day sooner? Or the thousands that will die of cancer, malaria, typhus, dysentery, starvation, etc because of one day's delay?
Seems a high cost to pay to make a point that maybe wasn't even made.
Where is the moral and ethical high ground in letting those babies, children, women and men die?

May 14, 2017
rderkis - I share your enthusiasm for prioritizing medical research. A dear friend is dying of lung cancer - and the cure is certainly going to come to late for her. I don't think that some scientists taking a day off to participate in a protest is going to make a significant difference. Perhaps you think that scientists should not be allowed to take Christmas off - lest they are responsible for the deaths of babies. I think that re-directing the $56 billion defense spending increase that Trump wants to give the military (which is more than the total Russian defense budget) - would make a lot more difference. Protest is an important part of a healthy and functioning democracy - imho.

May 14, 2017
It would be more relevant to check whether scientists think it will make any difference than non-scientists.

Science is becoming increasingly disruptive to the dominant superstitious outlook.

May 15, 2017
is going to make a significant difference.

Keyword SIGNIFICANT. If it means the difference between your friend living or dieing, is that significant?

As far as anybody taking a day, month, year or decade off, it's none of my business. But when you ask whether the protest was worth it, I will answer and that answer like the rest of the answers in here are like dust in the wind.

May 15, 2017
Keyword SIGNIFICANT. If it means the difference between your friend living or dieing, is that significant
Well that is a tough one to prove either way. Progress comes by many different researchers - working in parallel on the issue. I think a much more relevant factor - is the funding that we are willing to put behind it. Here in the U.S. - we seem to value war - over medical research.
like dust in the wind.
But the work the scientists do is not like dust in the wind. There are real consequences to what they do. No - it will not come in time for my friend. But it may come in time for me - when it is my turn to deal with cancer (or something else).

May 15, 2017
Here in the U.S. - we seem to value war - over medical research.


I draw a line between war and deterrence. There might not be any medical research, if we lost our freedom to oppression.

like dust in the wind.

The "Dust in the wind" comment is a reference to how much our comments influence society and make a difference.

May 15, 2017
I draw a line between war and deterrence.
Tough line to draw though. I don't see why the U.S. needs to spend more money than almost every other country combined - if all we were interested in was deterrent. It seems to me that we are more interested in protecting our oil interests - and that will not be necessary when we are energy independent - through the development of renewables.

May 15, 2017
It seems to me that we are more interested in protecting our oil interests


I know your not a conspiracy theorist so I have to ask. We have been to war with many countries(That have oil) in the last 60 years. Please name one of those countries we went to war with where we colonized it, so we could take their oil. Now name one of those countries that could have stopped us if we wanted to take their oil. How many other nations try to repair the damage done by war especially when the other side started it?

What oil interests? We export much more oil then we import. Oil wise we are self sufficient..

I don't see why the U.S. needs to spend more money than almost every other country combined

That's exactly what President Trump says. And he is trying to get our allies to pay their fair share. The free lunch they have been enjoying is coming to a end. Thanks to President Trump.

May 16, 2017
We export much more oil then we import.
No we don't.

https://www.eia.g...&t=6

Doesn't it get tiring being wrong so much - and still needing to keep hitting yourself in the head with the hammer.

May 16, 2017
[q[ it get tiring being wrong so much - and still needing to keep hitting yourself in the head with the hammer.

That has to be the dumbest statement I have ever read in these comments!
To answer your dumb question -- NO I never get tired of being wrong because it's a chance to learn somthing new, I had wrong. That's even better than learning somthing new that I knew nothing about.
Now the stupidity of your question tells me that your a person that thinks they are ALWAYS right or at least will never admit even to himself they are wrong.

Please grow up and learn to admit when you are wrong. Now I know by your statement you will not even admit to yourself that you can't admit that you are wrong. So it's like a vicious circle for you.

May 16, 2017
Please grow up and learn to admit when you are wrong
Frequently wrong derkis - no problem with that - but I did learn to use google - so try to check myself when I make definitive statements. The problem I have with people like you and Willie - is that you are pushing a particular agenda - and it seems to be the kind of agenda that is holding our world back in the f*cked up mess that we find ourselves in. Not caring about facts, science, truth - also seem to be part of the process. When someone constantly fights for a specific agenda - and does not care about facts, or truth - I think it is very understandable to call them on their bias.

May 16, 2017
it seems to be the kind of agenda that is holding our world back in the f*cked up mess that we find ourselves in.


I am sorry to hear about your problems! I am 70 and my world is great. Plenty to eat, drink and money to play with. On top of that world class health care. Technology is growing exponentially which mean in 10 to 20 years all the problems with pollution, global warming, hunger, thirst, sickness and ageing will be gone.
And we don't have to do a thing because barring a major catastrophe, it will happen and no single individual will stop it.

Yep, my world is great! I am sorry you live in a place real or imaginary that is fuc*ed up.

May 16, 2017
Yep, my world is great! I am sorry you live in a place real or imaginary that is fuc*ed up.
My father had an old navy saying (that is before he died of cancer). "Pull up the ladder jack - I'm on board." In other words - I don't give a shit about any one else - as I am doing fine. Maybe try a google search on world famine - https://www.one.o...odIYwCzw Maybe you never heard of ISIS. Maybe you don't know what is happening in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, etc. etc. etc. Science and technology may allow us to support 11 billion. Climate change is a wild card that we are being very careless with. We have just elected an anti science, climate denying, gang of hustlers to run the U.S. You are correct - everything is not good in my world - even though like you - I have a VERY comfortable life. I am painfully aware that this may not be the case tomorrow.

May 16, 2017
Oh. I imagine I am much more prepared then you. : I carry a glock 23 with laser sight literally 24/7. I n the closet I have a Sega 12 with 20 round drum that is load with 00 buckshot. Plus it is vary reliable because I personally ported an buffed the bolt. I have at least 7 years of food stored.
12 high definition video cameras using blue iris as my program. Trust me I am better prepared than you. I forgot to mention I have daniffs(Half great dane /half mastiff.)

I am at peace probably because I know there is nothing you or I can do about it. It's like these comments we leave here, they are just "Dust in the wind". God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change.

So we both live in the same world but I am happier because I know there is nothing you or I can do that will make a difference.

May 17, 2017
So we both live in the same world but I am happier because I know there is nothing you or I can do that will make a difference.
And yet earlier - you argue that scientists should not take time to protest - as their work is important - because it saves lives (is that not 'making a difference?'). I find bragging about how many weapons you have to carry - and all of your security measure - very contradictory in terms of then arguing that the world is not f*cked up. Perhaps you are happier than me - with all of your weapons, and security systems, and measures to protect yourself from your fellow man. My point - over and over - is that we are not doing a good job of managing our planet (I see the need to arm yourself to the teeth as evidence of that) - and that we would be wise to listen to the science - and see if we can figure out better ways of organizing.

May 17, 2017
And yet earlier - you argue that scientists should not take time to protest - as their work is important - because it saves lives (is that not 'making a difference?').


I am sorry you did not understand the complicated words "You and I". When I said you and I, I meant literally you and I. No scientist, world leader or other person that is making a difference (and there are plenty of them) have the time, or inclination to waste their time posting here.

NOT doing a good job of managing our planet (I see the need to arm yourself to the teeth as evidence of that) - and that we would be wise to listen to the science - and see if we can figure out better ways of organizing.


Oh, you are right. I just made two points one was "you or I", and the other was our scientists and engineers will fix all the problems that are supercritical before they explode. Running around yelling the "Sky is falling.THE SKY IS FALLING" does no good in the long run.

May 17, 2017
@rderkis, the problem is that scientists and engineers can't fix political problems. All they can do is point them out to the politicians. It's when the politicians ignore the problems or make up lies about how they don't exist that it's time for the scientists to protest. And that's exactly what's happening.

May 17, 2017
No scientist, world leader or other person that is making a difference (and there are plenty of them) have the time, or inclination to waste their time posting here.
There are scientists who post on Physorg (by their own reporting) No one person has the right to dictate if another person is 'making a difference.' Your assertion is thus immediately shown to be false. I plan on leaving the world a better place than I found it - which in my mind is making a difference. I post on Physorg - and am comfortable with that use of time. If it is just dust in the wind to you - knock yourself out.

Running around yelling the "Sky is falling.THE SKY IS FALLING" does no good in the long run.
I don't hear people yelling "Sky is falling." I certainly don't. The science tells us that there is clearly reason to be concerned about the future.

May 17, 2017
There are scientists who post on Physorg (by their own reporting)


A scientist can be anybody. From a McDonald's worker counting customers that wear ties to a ITER scientist developing fusion. Calling a person or yourself a scientist means little.

No one person has the right to dictate if another person is 'making a difference.

If by dictate you mean state, of course they have that right to make a statement. But the fact is that stating something about a scientist contributions means little. What is important is do their facts or theories actually make a difference in the long run.

I plan on leaving the world a better place than I found it

Good for you. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions/plans :-)
Myself at 70 do not plan on leaving this world at all. Not live forever, I plan on being forever young. :-)


May 17, 2017
What is important is do their facts or theories actually make a difference in the long run.
Yes - but not your job to try to evaluate that for others. And of course - huge questions about how do you measure things. Does a teacher make a difference - if he/she inspires students to become scientists. It just seems to me your are being childish wanting to make this kind of determination. I am up for trying my best - and it is for me to live with me. You still have not answered all the glaring contradictions - like saying "yep my world is great" - in response to my understanding of how f*cked up the world is. But then you have to have an armory of weapons, surveillance systems, and attack dogs - to protect yourself from your fellow humans.

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