Almost a quarter of Americans aren't sure that science should play a role in public policy

Americans have some interesting views about how science and politics should relate, according to a new poll conducted by Zogby Analytics on behalf of Research!America and ScienceDebate.org.

A full 87% of Americans think it’s either very or somewhat important for presidential candidates and members of Congress to have at least “a basic understanding of the science informing public policy issues,” which seems like a reasonable requirement.

Check out how that breaks down for different political affiliations below, along with some other interesting statistics the poll turned up.

For whatever reason, Independents are the least likely to think it's important for political leaders to understand science.

Research!America and ScienceDebate.org poll

Less than half of Americans say they know what candidates think about science policy.

Research!America and ScienceDebate.org poll

A full 23% of Americans either think journalists should not ask candidates about science or don't know whether or not they should.

Research!America and ScienceDebate.org poll

And the same proportion of Americans -- nearly a quarter -- aren't sure that science should play a role in public policy.

Almost a quarter of Americans aren’t sure that science should play a role in public policy

Independents are also most likely to say that public policy should not be based on science.

Research!America and ScienceDebate.org poll

Here's how Americans ranked what they consider serious long term issues facing the country.

Research!America and ScienceDebate.org poll

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