New Poll Shows How American Voters Really Feel About Science

Resaerch America medical poll

Photo: ResearchAmerica

From multiple politicians with surprisingly little science knowledge to the slipping international status of our research programs, healthcare system and maths and science education, many American voters are hoping that the next presidential candidate will revitalize science in the United States. At least, that’s what this poll from Research!America suggests.”Research and innovation, despite its contributions to the nation’s health and the economy, has been given short-shrift by candidates this year — even as funding for research is at high risk in budget discussions,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America said in a statement. “This is troubling given the fact that deep spending cuts for government supported research and failure to adopt policies promoting competitiveness could drastically slow the pace of discovery and development at a time when health threats are expanding in many communities.” 

From the release:

The National Public Opinion Poll was conducted online in August 2012 by JZ Analytics for Research!America. The poll has a sample size of 1,052 likely U.S. voters with a theoretical sampling error of +/- 3.1%.

On the flip side, 86 per cent of Americans polled think that maths and science eduction is important for the candidates to address.

59 per cent of Americans think that elected officials in Washington aren't doing enough to combat diseases.

People don't know where medical research happens. Only 15 per cent knew that there are researchers and clinicians working in every state studying health-related subjects. A whopping 37 per cent said they weren't sure what states do medical research.

53 per cent of the poll respondents are willing to pay $1 more in taxes every week to fund medical research.

Voters are mixed about how the next president should promote medical progress.

It's important to Americans that their presidential candidates are advised in science.

They want the government funding research.

They are worried about the US losing its edge.

They believe medical research has improved their lives.

Healthcare improvements are important to them.

Americans aren't sure how they feel about embryonic stem cell research.

61 per cent of American voters polled said the cost of healthcare is the number one health issue. facing the US.

Most Americans want research into health disparities across social groups.

They have trouble linking research to actual healthcare services.

Only a quarter of voters are happy with the FDA's pace to approve drugs and treatments.

They want scientists in charge of government funds.

Here's how far out of the science loop some politicians are.

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