I hardly want to lend ammo to those on the other side of the political scientific debates that I so frequently cover. But the new data from Pew are pretty stark: Only 6 percent of scientists describe themselves as Republican. 55 percent describe themselves as Democrats, and 32 percent as independents; which means that scientists skew Dem by a considerable margin when compared to the general population (which claims to be 23 percent GOP, 35 percent DEM).
I think these figures are unsurprising and even justifiable, in that so much anti-science comes from Republicans. I had to deal with one just last night who was attacking both climate science and evolutionary science. And of course, it is not just that Republicans are often anti-science, but that they are often driven by religious motivations to be so. Scientists, by contrast, are a very, very strongly secular group.
Whatever else you may say about these figures, it is unfortunate that they play directly into the culture war. If conservative pundits want to wrongly dismiss science as a liberal atheist plot, I guess I know what they’ll be citing….
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- I was surprised « A Man With A Ph.D. | November 19, 2009