A worldwide survey on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has shown a strong increase in trust in science and scientists since 2018.
The survey, conducted in late 2020 by Wellcome Trust, UK, saw more than three-quarters of people globally say they trust science (80%) and scientists (77%) either ‘a lot’ or ‘some.’
The regions that trusted scientists ‘a lot’ were Australia/New Zealand (62%), followed by Western Europe (59%) and then North America (54%).
However, high levels of trust in scientists remains relatively low elsewhere and particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa (19%), South-East Asia (23%) and Russia/Caucasus/Central Asia (28%).
Trust in science rose most among people with less science knowledge and the report suggested that this may have been due to increased exposure to science and scientists as a result of the pandemic.
However, the report added: “People are not sure that their governments value scientific advice. World leaders need to listen and show that they share public confidence in the role of science in solving health challenges fairly for everyone.”