A new study finds that Americans value being a global scientific leader but feel that the U.S. is slipping from its top position.
- Only 14% of Americans think that the U.S. is winning when it comes to scientific advancement and 38% think the U.S. is falling behind. Around 47% think it is about the same.
- The sentiment that the U.S. appears to be falling behind scientifically is shared across the political spectrum.
- More recent U.S. legislation has incentivized scientific and technological development in the U.S.
- Parties may agree that the U.S. should increase its global scientific foothold—but what that looks like differs between political parties.
Why it’s news
A study from Pew Research found that 70% of Republicans and independents who lean Republican think that scientists should refrain from engaging in public-policy debates and focus on supporting scientific fact. Around 24% of this same group considered scientists to be better than others at making policy decisions around scientific issues.
Democrats had a more positive view of the scientific community. Around 66% of Democrats think that scientists should participate in policy debates around scientific issues. Over half think that scientists are better equipped to make decisions regarding scientific policy. Around 64% think that scientists do not currently have enough say in public policy.
Overall, those surveyed continue to highly regard scientists. About 28% say they are very confident that scientists consider the best interest of the average person—and another 49% say they are mostly confident. These views haven’t shifted much since December 2021.
The majority of those surveyed think that government investment in scientific advancement is valuable, but few think the U.S. is making any headway as a global scientific leader.