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Pew survey: Most people believe in science, just not on big, controversial issues




People protest for greater action against climate change during the People's Climate March on September 21, 2014 in New York City. The march, which calls for drastic political and economic changes to slow global warming, has been organized by a coalition of unions, activists, politicians and scientists.
People protest for greater action against climate change during the People's Climate March on September 21, 2014 in New York City. The march, which calls for drastic political and economic changes to slow global warming, has been organized by a coalition of unions, activists, politicians and scientists.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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The Disneyland measles outbreak has spread to eight states and infected over 90 people so far. The link between vaccines and autism has been disproved by science, yet the number of parents who leave their children unvaccinated over safety concerns continue to rise.

It’s a prime example of the chasm between what science believes and what society believes. And according to a new Pew survey, that opinion gap extends to other big topics, including the safety of genetically modified foods, the seriousness of climate change, and evolution, despite the fact that most respondents polled think science is making our lives better. Why does such a gap exist?

Guest:

Cary Funk, Associate Director of Research at the Pew Research Center. She is one of the authors of the new report, “Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society”