Attention grabbing news titles sometimes portray our scientists as alarmists and doomsayers, either exaggerating worldwide problems or being completely wrong. Our survey shows most people have a refreshingly better opinion, with two thirds viewing scientists as our future thought leaders and only 11 percent seeing them as irrelevant.
It won’t be all smooth sailing, though. Many of our respondents who see a positive role of scientists in our future, also comment on different challenges facing the scientific community for being accepted as meaningful and relevant for society.
Comments are grouped into three parts: A Positive Future, Times of Uncertainty, and New Perspectives.
A Positive Future
A two-thirds positive view of the scientific community isn’t actually a great result, especially when even these hopeful people express conditional needs. Respondents think the scientists are themselves responsible for being less widely accepted and respected.
A frequent comment is that the scientists need to communicate more clearly and more often with the public rather than focusing on their internal communities.