Nearly half of us consider scientists "elitists" and now one in three is skeptical about science, up from one in four just a year ago.
A survey suggests that the trust Canadians place in science may be eroding.
The survey, by the polling firm Ipsos for the multinational 3M company, also found that nearly half of those surveyed thought scientists are elitist and that a significant number of respondents discounted findings that don't accord with their personal beliefs.
...Of those who said they were skeptical of science, about one-third felt scientists were influenced by government agendas. Another third thought science has been swayed by corporate agendas.
And 30 per cent said they only believed science that aligned with their personal beliefs.
Other findings have echoed this survey.
..."It's depressing but not too surprising," said John Smol, an ecologist at Queen's University who has written about the issue. "There's a real disconnect between what scientists do and what is the perception in the public."
Smol fears Canadians don't understand how science works — that data, not belief, is what counts and that science advances when old beliefs are upended, not shored up by unspoken consensus.
"There are certainly misconceptions," he said. "You can't blame them. It's a jungle of misinformation out there."This survey will come as music to the ears of the Conservative denialist community - Jason Kenney, Scott Moe, Andy Scheer and the fringe represented by Bernier.
In a nation with an electoral system so debased that winning less than two out of five votes on election day can translate into a powerful majority win, undermining fact and knowledge in the public's mind is a triumph. It reveals that their misinformation campaign (ever watched a Trans Mountain Pipeline ad?) works. Belief is far more malleable than knowledge-based science. It appeals to the lizard brain.