American confidence in science has largely been divided along partisan lines, according to a Gallup poll released on Friday.
The poll found that Democrats were very confident in science, with 79 percent saying they were “very” or “fairly” confident in the field, compared to just 45 percent of Republicans who said the same. Among independents, 65 percent expressed confidence.
The gap between Democrats and Republicans was the widest of any institution measured in Gallups’ polls this year.
The last time Gallup polled Americans about their confidence in science was in 1975. The Republican Party’s confidence in science has dropped 27 percentage points since then, compared with a 12-point increase among Democrats. Confidence fell 8 points among independents.
According to Gallup, the lack of trust among Republicans may be due to accusations by conservative leaders of a liberal bias in the scientific community. He also linked mistrust to problems related to COVID-19 vaccines.
Overall, 64 percent of Americans said they have confidence in science.