Across the world, scientists addressing Coronavirus are viewed more positively than governments, an international study conducted in six European countries has shown.
How do we perceive governments in the Pandemic context?
Scientists addressing coronavirus are viewed more positively across all countries. For instance, seven in ten people on average say that scientists involved in tackling coronavirus are motivated by improving the lives of future generations – five in ten say this of government.
According to an international study of six countries, 69% people in Poland think the government is motivated by building or protecting its own reputation when it comes to Covid-19, while 72% believe it is motivated by making lots of money in relation to the pandemic.
But Poland is far from alone in this view, with majorities in other nations sharing the same perceptions. For example, 74% in Ireland think the government there is motivated by protecting its reputation on Covid, and 65% in Italy believe its government is motivated by making money.
How do we perceive scientists approach in the Pandemic context?
These perceptions also extend, albeit to a lesser extent, to scientists involved in tackling coronavirus, with 70% of people in Poland thinking they are driven by protecting their reputation and 67% believing they are motivated by making lots of money.
It finds that, across a range of questions, scientists tackling Covid fare much better than the government in terms of how their motivations are perceived by the public. In Poland, when it comes to the pandemic:
- 68% say scientists are motivated by concern for those most likely to be harmed by Covid or actions taken to address it, compared with 49% who say the same about the government.
- 68% think scientists are motivated by improving the lives of future generations – higher than the 46% who think this is true of the government.
- 70% believe scientists are motivated by the thought the public are counting on them, versus 47% who feel this way about the government.
Scientists are also seen as more competent than governments on Covid. 66% of people in Poland rank their government between 0 and 3 out of 10 for their level of competence in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Behind Poland are the UK and Italy where, respectively, 47% and 45% of people rank their governments at this level. However, this is significantly behind Poland, and around the average of 45%. Norway comes out best, with a far lower proportion – 29% – giving a negative rating.
How do we perceive scientists competence in the Pandemic context?
Scientists’ performance on the pandemic is judged far more favourably. 53% of people on average rank scientists between 7 and 10 out of 10 for their competence in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. In Ireland, this figure stands at 59%, and in Norway and the UK, it is 58%, indicating a strong degree of trust in scientists involved in tackling coronavirus.
There is slightly less trust in Poland and Italy where, respectively, 43% and 46% of people rank scientists between 7 and 10 out of 10 for their level of competence. However only 21% of people in Poland think scientists involved in tackling coronavirus are incompetent, compared with 66% who think their government is.
Read the full report PERITIA “Public attitudes towards institutions involved in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic”.
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