Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Positive Attitudes to Science, But Who Do You Trust?

A new survey of 1020 Australian adults has found that 80% of participants believe that science is very important to solving many of the problems facing society. However, only 49% could name an Australian achievement in science and technology.

While participants placed much more trust in scientists than they did in radio talkback hosts, politicians or religious leaders, 21% did not know who they could trust as a source of accurate scientific information. A further 9% felt they could trust no one.

Only 31% and 40%, respectively, felt the media provided them with enough information about science and technology, and nearly 60% cited internet searches as their preferred source of information.

“It’s clear that most Australians think scientific research makes an important contribution to the economy,” said survey designer Dr Suzette Searle of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at The Australian National University. “But we need to find out more about why those people didn’t know who to trust.”