Issue Date: January 10, 2011
Political Climate Changes
The Government & Policy article predicting a tough time for climate science in the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives came as no surprise (C&EN, Nov. 29, 2010, page 30). A Pew poll (http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1549) in 2009 found that only 6% of scientists considered themselves Republicans; 55% are Democrats, with an overwhelming 81% leaning toward the Democrats. Fifty-two percent of scientists view themselves as liberals.
Attitudes vary within the scientific community, but even including industrial scientists, 47% are Democrats and only 10% are Republicans. In the sciences overall, 47% of chemists are Democrats, and the figure rises to 60% in the geosciences.
I personally view the Republicans as broadly antiscience, and this will not change in our lifetimes. I also suspect that, worldwide, scientists are more liberal than the general population.
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