Have the British public really had enough of experts?

This chapter assesses public attitudes to science and technology. We consider how we engage with science during our day-to-day lives, whether science and technology are viewed as a force for social good, and to what extent scientists in the academic and commercial arenas are trusted to act in the public interest. We also examine how the public strikes the balance between science, feelings and faith, explore our relationship with scientific developments that pose complex ethical questions such as prenatal testing, and chart how public attitudes towards such technologies have changed over time.


Over time, the public has become less likely to agree that modern science does more harm than good. Just 11% now feel that science does more harm than good, compared with 24% in 1993.

Modern science does more harm than good, 1993–2018



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