Save a seat: Public Attitudes Toward Science

Join Knowable Magazine and Annual Reviews for a conversation about how understanding and trust in science have changed in the past year, science’s evolving role in society and how group identities shape people’s views.

Covid-19 has thrust science into the public consciousness. In the past year, the study of public health, mRNA technology, developmental psychology, immunology, behavior, and many others fields have enjoyed a previously unimaginable level of attention.

What effect is this having on how science and scientists are viewed by the public? In the United States, a growing number of people say that they will get vaccinated against Covid-19, but a sizable minority will not. And, while 85 percent of adults have confidence in scientists to act in the best interests of the public, only 39 percent have “a great deal of confidence” in this.

We may have reached a pivotal moment in the relationship between science and the public. This discussion will explore attitudes toward science and how the pandemic has shifted those. It will also consider the lessons that science should learn from these responses, as well as from the pandemic.


  • Cary Funk, Director of Science and Society Research, Pew Research Center
  • Harvey Fineberg, President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews