‘…it’s vital that we listen to, and understand, people’s views. These can help design more sustainable collaborative and equitable solutions to end the pandemic and tackle other urgent global health challenges.’
A report from Wellcome indicates that public trust in scientists rose during the covid-19 pandemic. The Wellcome Global Monitor 2020: How Covod-19 affected people’s lives and their views about science, asked more than 119 000 people, aged 15 and over, in 113 countries about their views on science during the pandemic. The survey, conducted by Gallup World Poll, was carried out between August 2020 and February 2021.
The survey results revealed that people who said they trust in science (41%) and scientists (43%) ‘a lot’, rose by nine percentage points compared with the 2018 survey. Wellcome said this now meant that those trusting in scientists ‘a lot’ were on par with trust in doctors and nurses (45%).
The survey also revealed that in every country surveyed; only a minority of people said that government leaders valued the expertise of scientists ‘a lot’. Belief that governments valued scientists’ opinions and expertise was most prevalent where overall confidence in the government itself was high.
Commenting, Beth Thompson Associate Director, Policy, Wellcome said: Although this report provides a snapshot of views in 2020, prior to successful vaccines or licensed treatments, it’s vital that we listen to, and understand, people’s views. These can help design more sustainable collaborative and equitable solutions to end the pandemic and tackle other urgent global health challenges.’
As well as views on science, the report also highlights the disproportionate impact covid-19 is having on poorer countries, with the pandemic indicating the need for strong geopolitical relations, resilient health infrastructure and pandemic preparedness.