Public Release: 

Science literacy and polarization

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Using data from more than 2,500 respondents in the nationally representative General Social Survey, researchers report that for scientific topics about which people's beliefs correlated with political or religious identity, such as human evolution and stem cell research, the correlation became stronger with increasing scientific education and literacy, but not for topics that were not polarized along political or religious lines, such as nanotechnology.


Article #17-04882: "Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics," by Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff.

MEDIA CONTACT: Caitlin Drummond, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; tel: 412-268-2869, 215-779-8919; e-mail: <>

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