The goal of this project is to analyze the factors that affect trust in scientists, as well as the prevalence and correlates of science-related populist attitudes across countries. 

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Trust in scientists

Public trust in scientists provides many benefits to people and society at large. It helps people make informed decisions (e.g., on health and nutrition) based on the best available evidence, provides the foundation for evidence-based policymaking, and warrants government spending on research. Trust in scientists is also vital for the management of global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The TISP survey includes measures on trust in scientists, trust in scientific methods, and the perceived role of scientists in policymaking.

science-related populism

Science-related populism describes the belief that academic elites, including scientists and experts, produce knowledge that is useless, biased by political or personal interests, and inferior to the allegedly truthful common sense of “ordinary people”. Perceptions of such a populist people-elite conflict have been discussed intensely in public and scholarly debate, as they have implications for trust in science, science communication, and climate change attitudes. The TISP survey includes the “SciPop Scale”, a survey tool to measure science-related populist attitudes.

science communication

Public perceptions about science and scientific issues like climate change are closely connected with how people inform themselves and communicate about science. After all, people infer much of what they know and think about science from media portrayals, interpersonal conversations, and digital communication, for example on social media. People’s perceptions about science can also shape how they talk about it with others. The TISP project accounts for these mechanisms by considering science media use and communication behavior.

Climate change attitudes

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Individual and collective action as well as climate policy support is needed to mitigate climate change. The TISP Project contributes to our understanding of climate change-related attitudes, emotions, and behaviors by assessing emotions about climate change, support for climate policies, trust in climate scientists, perceived government action on climate change, and the perceived impact of climate change on extreme weather events in the past and in the future.