Table 7-13
Public perceptions of various groups' understanding of public issues: 2010 or most recent year
(Percent and mean score)
 
  Degree of understanding
(on scale of 1 to 5)
     
Public issue/group Very well
5
4 3 2 Not at all
1
  Don't
know
Mean
score
 
Nuclear power: understand the likely effects of using nuclear power to generate electricity                
Nuclear engineers 58 18 11 4 3   5 4.3
Elected officials 5 11 32 33 15   5 2.6
Business leaders 5 11 32 30 17   5 2.5
Stem cell research: understand stem cell research                
Medical researchers 49 26 14 3 2   5 4.2
Elected officials 4 7 34 28 24   5 2.4
Religious leaders 5 6 27 28 29   5 2.3
Global warming: understand the causes of global warming                
Environmental scientists 40 20 21 10 6   4 3.8
Elected officials 5 10 28 26 26   4 2.4
Business leaders 4 9 29 28 26   4 2.3
Genetically modified foods: understand the risks posed by genetically modified foods                
Medical researchers 32 32 18 8 5   6 3.8
Elected officials 3 6 24 33 29   5 2.2
Business leaders 4 7 24 31 28   6 2.2
Federal income taxes: understand the likely effects of reducing federal income taxes                
Economists 27 21 31 8 6   7 3.6
Elected officials 10 18 32 18 17   6 2.8
Business leaders 16 24 31 14 9   7 3.3
 

NOTES: Responses to How well do the following groups understand: causes of global warming; stem cell research; likely effects of reducing federal income taxes; likely effects of using nuclear power to generate electricity; risks posed by genetically modified foods? Responses on global warming, stem cell research, federal income taxes, and nuclear power are for 2010. Responses on genetically modified foods are for 2006. Mean understanding score based on 5-point scale, where 5 = understands very well and 1 = understands not at all. Detail may not add to total because of rounding.

SOURCE: University of Chicago, National Opinion Research Center, General Social Survey (2006, 2010). See appendix table 7-29.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012