.Most scientists in the US and UK blame public ignorance of science for flawed policy preferences and political choices. They tend to be critical of media coverage, yet rate favorably their own experience with the media. Scientists say policy-makers and journalists are the most important groups to engage and view the public as having secondary importance in political decision-making.

Among scientists, perceptions of science-related policy debates are likely to be influenced by ideology and like-minded information sources such as blogs.
Published online at the journal Public Understanding of Science – co-authored by Matthew Nisbet, Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Climate Shift Project at American University (Washington D.C) and by John Besley, an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of South Carolina, the paper synthesize past studies on how scientists view the public, the goals of communication, the performance and impacts of the media, and the role of the public in policy decision-making. The study add to these past findings by analyzing two recent large-scale surveys of scientists in the UK and US.

Full text paper.

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