Should we rely on science

Science in the Corona year: Between trust and skepticism

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General trust in science and research is significantly higher in 2020 than in previous years. In the representative survey for the science barometer, 60 percent of people stated that they tend to or completely trust science and research. In spring - at the beginning of the corona pandemic - as many as 73 percent (April) and 66 percent (May) of those surveyed had expressed their trust in science, as special surveys had shown. In previous years, the number had been around 50 percent.

Get in touch with corona skeptics

However, the current science barometer also shows that some respondents are very skeptical of science when it comes to the coronavirus. 15 percent are of the opinion that there is no clear evidence of the existence of the coronavirus. 23 percent think that one should rely more on common sense than on scientific studies when dealing with Corona. 39 percent also think it is important to obtain information about the virus from outside of science.

“It is all the more important to convey scientific facts and recommendations for action in a variety of formats in order to reach those who are unsure and in doubt. Not least with a view to the upcoming corona vaccinations, people must be empowered to make a knowledge-based decision, "says Tina Stengele, acting head of the science department at Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH.

Even if the majority of respondents are very willing to be vaccinated (55 percent), there is also clear rejection here: 29 percent of respondents said that they probably would not want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in 2021. The other participants were still undecided.

Lots of support for science-based politics

When it comes to the relationship between science and politics, the picture is twofold. On the one hand, a large number of respondents (77 percent) support the fact that political decisions in dealing with Corona should be based on scientific knowledge. On the other hand, 42 percent of people do not see it as the task of scientists to get involved in politics.