Most people in Switzerland trust science despite heated debates
A survey has found that most people in Switzerland still trust science, despite furious battles about the validity and reliability of scientific evidence since the outbreak of COVID-19. The figures show that trust in scientists peaked at the end of 2020, before finally dipping back to pre-pandemic levels this year.
59 percent of people in Switzerland trust science
The survey, which was undertaken by the University of Zurich as part of its “Science Barometer” for 2022, found that 59 percent of people say they trust scientific research to a high or very high degree. At the end of 2020, that figure was 67 percent, but before the pandemic in 2019, the number was even lower at 56 percent.
While the research shows that the majority of the country trusts science and the research that scientists undertake, the study also noted that there are still a significant number of people in Switzerland that are sceptical about the work done by scientists and universities. Project leader Mike Schäfer acknowledged this in a press release, stating “our findings also make it clear [that] there are certainly people who remain sceptical."
Most Swiss people get their scientific information online
The survey also found that most people in Switzerland get their information on scientific developments and breakthroughs from online sources or through instant messaging. This development has been a relatively recent one, with TV and radio being the previous primary source.
Instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram became key sources of information for many during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people shared information with their family and friends about changing restrictions, rules and developments relating to the virus itself.