Thought for the month

“It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” Edmund Burke, politician (1729 – 97).

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Must try harder?

A recent review shows that whilst Americans view scientists as competent, they are apparently not entirely trusted. This may in part be because they are not perceived to be friendly or warm. In particular, those polled seemed wary of researchers seeking grant funding and did not trust scientists pushing persuasive agendas. Instead, the public leans toward impartiality. Credible communications are key and the review authors suggest that the gap can be filled by scientists showing concern for humanity and the environment. Additionally, rather than persuading, scientists may better serve citizens by discussing, teaching and sharing information to convey trustworthy intentions.

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