As the 2020 election looms, an intriguing new poll shows that Americans agree on one key issue: science. The survey published by Research!America shows that Americans overwhelmingly support science, regardless of their political parties.
According to the survey analysis, a strong majority of Americans agree that “the Covid-19 pandemic is a disruptive event and requires urgent refocusing of America’s commitment to science.” 88% believe that science benefits them and 89% believe that America should maintain its global leadership in science. Exactly.
The unprecedented avalanche of misinformation that has been spread during the Covid-19 pandemic has been discouraging to both scientists and the public they serve. As people struggle to find the information they need to make decisions about life in the pandemic, the survey indicates that they still consider science the standard.
Not only were survey participants committed to science, they were committed to funding for scientific research. Regardless of political affiliation, 66% of respondents were willing to pay $1 more a week in taxes to support scientific research. And that funding is needed because according to a recent report the U.S. is spending less and less on research. In fact, America is now in tenth place among other OECD nations for the share of GDP spent on research and development.
“The level of bipartisan public consensus in this survey shows that support for science is much more than an agreement; it’s a mandate to elected officials to do more. It’s time for a national refocus on science so we may address the issues top of mind for Americans and live up to our full potential as a science-strong nation,” said Mary Woolley, Research!America President and CEO and a co-chair of the working group in a press release.