Republicans distrust science news more than Democrats, study finds

Republicans are less likely to trust science coverage in the media than Democrats, according to a new analysis by Pew Research Center.

While most Americans rely on media outlets that cover a variety of topics to get science news, they believe that specialty sources such as documentaries, magazines, and museums are more likely to get those facts correct, Pew found.

Overall, 64 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans found the news media does a “good job” of covering science, but 53 percent of Republicans thought the press was “too quick” to report on research that “may not hold up,” compared to just 36 percent of Democrats.

Science reporting is becoming more prevalent and important as climate change and other issues continue to be everyday parts of Americans’ lives.

Pew found that general news outlets are where people find scientific news, but Americans don’t trust them to always get the facts right, instead relying on specialty outlets. According to the polling organization, 30 percent of people thought the press oversimplifies scientific research, 26 percent of people think the press is too quick to report on disagreements to the findings, and 20 percent thought the press focuses too much on research that isn’t important.

Meanwhile, social media also played a role in how Americans get their science news. A quarter of Americans said they see scientific information on social media, but only 33 percent said it was an important way for them to get that kind of news.

Overall, 52 percent of people polled by Pew said they “mostly mistrust” facts about science they see posted on social media.

You can read more about Pew’s findings here.

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