Survey shows Major Disagreements between Scientists and Public on Scientific Issues

Details of a survey revealed that the opinion of professional scientists and the American public differ on many issues with regard to science ranging from climate change and genetically modified foods.

Alan Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said, "There is a disconnect between the way in which the public perceives the state of science and science's position on a variety of issues, and the way in which the scientific community ... looks at the state of science".

The Pew Research Center in collaboration with the AAAS conducted the survey last year. For the survey, a telephonic survey was carried out of 2,002 American adults and an online survey was also conducted on 3,748 US-based members of the science association.

The survey found that the biggest difference in the opinion was with genetically modified foods with a gap of 51% points. As many as 88% of the scientists suggested that genetically modified foods are safe to eat, but only 37% members of the public think the same.

Next was the usage of animals in studies. In the case of scientists, 89% think that it is fine to use animals in research as opposed to 47% of the public. As many as 68% of the scientists think that it is safe to eat foods grown with pesticides and just 28% of the public think the same.

Majority of the scientists think that climate change has been caused by human activity and 50% of the public agreed with. Cary Funk, lead author of this week's report and associate director of science research at Pew Research Center, said the gaps have not changed much since 2009.

But the major change was about how scientists and the wider sampling of Americans think about the gaps.

United States