July 1, 2015

Americans, Politics and Science Issues

About This Report

This report examines the general public’s views on a range of science-related topics and explores the degree to which political views, educational attainment, religion and demographic factors are connected to those views. It also focuses on the extent to which people’s knowledge about science connects to their views on these topics. The bulk of the analysis relies on data from a representative sample of 2,002 adults nationwide surveyed by landline and cellular telephone in August 2014. Some analysis from other Pew Research Center surveys is included where there is relevant data.

This analysis is the third in a series; the first report, based on the same sample, compared a survey of the general public with a companion survey of American members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). A second report focused on data from the survey of AAAS members to explore the ways in which scientists interact with citizens and journalists and their reasons for doing so. The surveys were conducted in collaboration with the AAAS. Pew Research Center bears all responsibility for the content, design and analysis of both surveys.

This report is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of the following individuals. Find related reports online at pewresearch.org/science2015.

Lee Rainie, Director Internet, Science, and Technology Research
Cary Funk, Associate Director, Research
Brian Kennedy, Research Associate
Monica Anderson, Research Analyst
Maeve Duggan, Research Analyst
Kenneth Olmstead, Research Associate
Andrew Perrin, Research Assistant
Michael Suh, Associate Digital Producer
Shannon Greenwood, Assistant Digital Producer
Margaret Porteus, Information Graphics Designer
Dana Page, Communications Manager  


Special thanks to Nick Allum, professor of sociology at the University of Essex, for consultation and review of the statistical analysis approach used in this report. We also are grateful to the team at Princeton Survey Research International who led the data collection efforts for the survey. Pew Research Center bears all responsibility for the content, design and analysis of the survey.