Consistent Effects of Science and Scientist Characteristics on Public Trust across Political Regimes

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Why does trust in science and scientists vary across regime types? There is much recent scholarship that studies declining trust in science in democracies in the face of rising populism and right wing authoritarianism. But little is known about whether and why this trend holds across the spectrum of existing non-democracies with varied degrees of state control over education systems and restrictions on domestic media and information environments. Individual perceptions of the legitimacy and credibility of science, and by extension scientists, fluctuate across sub-populations and across countries - but why? We conduct a cross-national survey experiment across ten countries with different regime types to examine whether characteristics of scientific research and personal attributes of scientists influence levels of public trust. In particular, we test two sets of hypotheses: first, that attributes of the scientific research being conducted (discipline, public impact) affect trust in science, support for public funding and evidence-informed policy-making, and second, that attributes of the scientists (gender, activism, nationality) affect trust in scientists differently based on the type of discipline.

Nils Weidmann ist sowohl gelernter Informatiker als auch Politikwissenschaftler und verbindet politische Analysen mit Big Data aus dem Netz: Webauftritt von Nils B. Weidmann

Sukayna Younger-Khan, Universität Konstanz
Lisa Oswald, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin





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