Almost nine in 10 Americans have some degree of trust in medical scientists to act in the public's best interests while 87 percent have trust in scientists in general, according to a poll conducted in April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages. Trust in elected officials was the lowest of the seven groups surveyed. Respondents who did not give an answer are not shown.

Source: Cary Funk and Brian Kennedy, “Public confidence in scientists has remained stable for decades,” Pew Research Center, Aug. 27, 2020, https://tinyurl.com/53hhkazm

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Group Percentage with a Great Deal of Confidence Percentage with a Fair Amount of Confidence Percentage with Not Too Much Confidence Percentage with No Confidence
Medical scientists 43% 46% 9% 2%
Scientists 39% 48% 10% 2%
The military 38% 45% 13% 4%
Religious leaders 17% 46% 26% 11%
Journalists 9% 39% 33% 19%
Business leaders 5% 43% 41% 11%
Elected officials 3% 33% 49% 14%

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