Table 7-14
Public perceptions of various groups' impartiality in making policy recommendations about public issues: 2010 or most recent year
(Percent and mean score)
 
  Extent to which group would support
(on scale of 1 to 5)
     
Public issue/group What is best
for country
5
4 3 2 Own narrow
interests
1
  Don't know Mean score
 
Global warming                
Environmental scientists 42 22 18 7 7   4 3.9
Elected officials 11 10 25 22 28   4 2.5
Business leaders 6 4 24 27 34   4 2.2
Genetically modified foods                
Medical researchers 34 29 19 7 6   5 3.8
Elected officials 6 10 32 25 21   5 2.5
Business leaders 2 4 25 32 32   5 2.1
Stem cell research                
Medical researchers 30 28 21 9 7   5 3.7
Elected officials 6 10 25 26 29   4 2.4
Religious leaders 9 10 24 24 27   6 2.5
Nuclear power                
Nuclear engineers 27 28 22 9 8   6 3.6
Elected officials 8 16 32 22 17   6 2.7
Business leaders 6 9 28 28 23   6 2.4
Federal income taxes                
Economists 19 27 28 11 9   6 3.4
Elected officials 10 11 27 22 24   6 2.6
Business leaders 5 11 23 29 27   6 2.4
 

NOTES: Responses to When making policy decisions about [public issue], to what extent do you think [group] would support doing what is best for the country as a whole or what serves their own narrow interests? 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 impartiality score based on 5-point scale, where 5 = best for the country and 1 = own narrow interests. 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 7-30.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012