Poll: Canadians' view of science influenced by education

Least educated are most likely to shun expertise

A new Ekos Research poll shows that even though the Conservatives have a hold on traditionalist voters who value morality and decency over science, they need to reach out to voters who value scientific knowledge and expert civil service advice if they want to get the 15 percentage points needed to form a majority government. The poll shows that anti-expertise and skepticism of science rise with socioeconomic vulnerability and age. For example, new Canadians are less committed to knowledge and expertise in government decision-making than the native born. Also, those who responded with less marketable experience and skills were more opposed to scientific knowledge and other forms of expertise, with the biggest tension being between the college-educated and wealthier university-educated elites. The poll suggested that showing a bit of respect for science and expertise may help win university-educated voters, since most Canadians lean toward the view that knowledge, expertise and evidence are crucial to societal decision making, and that science and expertise are undervalued in the country.

The Globe and Mail

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