Scientific information is crucial for evidence-based decision-making. Public trust in science can help decision-makers act based on the best available evidence, especially during crises such as climate change or the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in recent years the epistemic authority of science has been challenged, causing concerns about low public trust in scientists. Here we interrogated these concerns with a pre-registered 67-country survey of 71,417 respondents on all inhabited continents and find that in most countries, a majority of the public trust scientists and think that scientists should be more engaged in policymaking. We further show that there is a discrepancy between the public’s perceived and desired priorities of scientific research. Moreover, we find variations between and within countries, which we explain with individual- and country-level variables, including political orientation. While these results do not show widespread lack of trust in scientists, we cannot discount the concern that lack of trust in scientists by even a small minority may affect considerations of scientific evidence in policymaking. These findings have implications for scientists and policymakers seeking to maintain and increase trust in scientists.

Perceptions of Science, Science Communication, and Climate Change Attitudes in 67 Countries:
The TISP Dataset 

Science is integral to society because it can inform individual, government, corporate, and civil society decision-making on issues such as climate change. Yet, public distrust and populist sentiment may challenge the relationship between science and society. To help researchers analyse the science-society nexus across different cultural contexts, we undertook a cross-sectional survey resulting in a dataset of 71,417 participants in 67 countries. The data were collected between November 2022 and August 2023 as part of the global Many Labs study “Trust in Science and Science-Related Populism” (TISP). The questionnaire contained comprehensive measures for individuals’ trust in scientists, science-related populist attitudes, perceptions of the role of science in society, science media use and communication behaviour, attitudes to climate change and support for environmental policies, personality traits, political and religious views and demographic characteristics. Here, we describe the dataset, survey materials and psychometric properties of key variables. We encourage researchers to use this unique dataset for global comparative analyses on public perceptions of science and its role in society and policy-making.


 Publications and preprints resulting from the TISP Many Labs Study will be posted here.