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Against declining trust in traditional news sources and institutions that provide data and information, the results of a new poll are both gratifying and a call to action for everyone working in the sciences.

The global public opinion poll, sponsored by the London-based Wellcome Trust, found that 80% of people in 113 countries trusted science either “a lot” or “some,” and 76% felt the same way about scientists. The survey of 119,000 people was conducted by Gallup between August 2020 and February 2021, before the widespread distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.


These findings are incredibly important, as trust is the foundation for the legitimacy of public institutions, including a functioning health care system. Trust is particularly crucial for maintaining public support for biopharmaceutical research and development. Trust has also been essential in the world’s collective ability to respond rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it continues to underpin both private- and public-sector planning and execution of programs to aid in the recovery and ongoing management of a “new normal” way of life.

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