Trust Deficit Models: The New Dead End for Communicating Controversial Science?

Saturday, 15 February 2014
Regency A (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Dietram A. Scheufele , University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
This talk examines recent claims that that declining levels of trust in the scientific enterprise are responsible for a lack of support for science among U.S. publics. Using a combination of data from the General Social Survey since the 1960s and a series of recent national survey data on nanotechnology, nuclear energy and synthetic biology, it (a) shows that levels of trust in science have in fact not declined over time, and (b) examines the relative impact of trust in science on attitudes, when compared to more stable predispositions, such as deference toward scientific authority.