Over the last three years, 3M's "State of Science" report found that global skepticism of science was increasing — from 29 percent in 2018 to 32 percent in 2019 to 37 percent in 2020. But a more recent survey taken after the coronavirus pandemic began suggests that trend may be reversing.
In the post-pandemic survey, science skepticism dropped back to 28 percent, while trust in science increased to 89 percent, the highest since the study began. And, more specifically, the number of people who only believe in science that aligns with their personal beliefs is down six points since 2019.
The change is seemingly linked to COVID-19, which has increased the presence of science in people's lives. Since the 2018 survey, the number of people who agreed that science is very important to their everyday life increased 12 points to 54 percent in the most recent survey, and the same number of people said they are more likely to advocate for science because of the pandemic. Before, 3M notes, that number was 20 percent.
The post-pandemic survey was conducted among 1,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level overall was 0.94 percentage points, with a 3.1 percent margin of error for each individual country. Read more at 3M.