Poll: Americans Back Research--But Selectively

The public strongly supports scientific research, according to a recent poll from Louis Harris and Associates Inc., but shows marked favoritism when asked to choose among fields. Of eight areas, medical research was rated as "most valuable" by almost half of those polled--49 percent--while environmental and energy investigation were so ranked by 29 percent and 10 percent, respectively. At the bottom end of the sampling, only 1 percent to 3 percent of the people questioned gave top votes to el

Franklin Hoke
May 24, 1992
The public strongly supports scientific research, according to a recent poll from Louis Harris and Associates Inc., but shows marked favoritism when asked to choose among fields.

Of eight areas, medical research was rated as "most valuable" by almost half of those polled--49 percent--while environmental and energy investigation were so ranked by 29 percent and 10 percent, respectively. At the bottom end of the sampling, only 1 percent to 3 percent of the people questioned gave top votes to electronics, computer, space, defense, and transportation research--among the most heavily funded areas of scientific inquiry.

"The American love affair with medical research continues," notes a statement from the pollster.

A nationwide cross section of 1,255 people was polled by telephone by the Harris organization between March 18 and 24. The poll is accurate to plus or minus 3 percentage points, at 95 percent certainty.

When asked in which areas they would...

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