New Poll Shows Voters Like Science (in Theory, Anyway)

By Melissa Lafsky | July 2, 2008 6:30 pm

thumbs up for scienceToday, Scientists and Engineers for America released the results of a poll intended to gauge whether (and how much) voters care about science, as part of a campaign by SEA and a coalition of scientific societies to highlight the issue in the 2008 election.

Of the sample of 1,005 adults, the vast majority agreed that science-based policy decisions on problems like health care and global warming were important, that candidates needed to focus on better science education, and that the respondents would be be more likely to vote for a candidate who is committed to meeting energy demands and addressing climate change through investments in science and technology.

Heartening results all, though the questions asked leave something to be desired as far as tackling the gap between support for scientific advances and the willingness to pay for them to happen.

While this isn’t the first poll to show voters’ desire to have science discussed in the political arena, asking whether people think science is “important” and then interpreting their “yes” answers to mean “Voters care about science!” may not paint the clearest portrait of reality.

Also, let’s not forget that polls are notoriously skewed based on how, where, why, etc. they were done, and voters have a nasty habit of responding the way they think they should, as opposed to the way they actually feel.

As such, while it’s crucial that we keep the issue at the forefront through November, a more realistic question (and thus a more accurate/helpful set of answers) might read something like:

“Would you be willing to pay higher taxes and receive fewer government services in order to fund new science and technology advances to fight climate change, increase science education, and boost health-care research?”

Image: iStock

Comments (20)

  1. Paul B.

    I took a look at the poll you referred to and the interpretation by the scientists involved. Unfortunately, I think you must have read it too quickly or missed the point. The poll itself asked voters how likely they would be to support candidates who support science ie vote for them. So, it was not an interpretation of the results, it WAS the result. I share your skepticism on polls, but think you have to get the facts straight when criticizing them.

  2. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

  3. hanyu

    Support of the Lou Zhu, Lou Zhu worked hard
    Signature——————————————————————————————————————–
    Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.
    ugg bailey button
    ugg classic cardy

  4. Watch The Latest Ultimate Fighting Free at FLY27.com

  5. Watch The Royal Rumble 2010 Free at FLY14.com

  6. Hiya , when visiting at the blog i notice some form of strange codes all over the web page, in case it

  7. Hiya , when visiting at the web page i experience some sort of unusual codes all above the article, in case it

  8. Howdy, just simply considered i would reveal to you something.. This is 2 times now i

  9. Hiya , when viewing at the blog i see some form of odd codes all around the page, in case it

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »