Source: Pew Research Center
More Democrats and younger adults believe the science marches in April will lead to public support for science; Republicans and older adults tend to disagree
In the wake of last month’s marches for science and climate in Washington and around the country, Americans are divided in their support of the events’ goals and their sense of whether it will make a difference. In particular, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most Democrats and younger adults are convinced that these public events will help the causes of scientists. By contrast, Republicans and older adults believe the marches will not raise public support for scientists, aid efforts to increase government funding of science, enhance the role of scientists in policy debates or lead to increased efforts to combat global climate change.
Overall, 44% of adults think the protests, marches and demonstrations will boost public support for science, while an equal share believe the protests will make no difference and 7% believe the demonstrations will actually hurt the cause. But on this and other questions about the marches there are consistent divides along political and generational lines. For example, 61% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents believe the marches will increase public support for science, while only 22% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say the same. Instead, 60% of these Republican backers think the protests will make no difference, compared with just 32% of Democratic partisans who think that.
Younger adults (ages 18 to 29) are particularly likely to think the marches will increase public support for science (55%). In contrast, 54% of seniors 65 and older believe the recent science marches will make no difference to public support for science; just 29% say the marches will help.
These are some of the findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,012 adults, ages 18 or older from May 3-7, 2017.