Curse you, John Wilkins! »« Ja, we shall invade this Austrian poll

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  1. says

    The full report from the Pew Research Center: http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/528.pdf
    _
    These are 2009 data, so there may haven been some shifts since then.
    _
    @SallyStrange: the Pew Research Center is funded by a small part of the very large endowment of The Pew Charitable Trusts. You may thank Joseph Newton Pew and his family. And since the report is from 2009, the current self-generated crisis of government-funded research programs had not yet happened when it was written.

  2. anuran says

    There are plenty of older Republicans who remember the days of Hatfield, Packwood and other “Red Tories”.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    PZ
    Whatinhell are you doing posting a new one at this time of night?

  4. Ichthyic says

    6%… that’s just barely significant.

    seems about what you would expect just given chance.

  5. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Simple to explain!

    “Republicans” are either evil or in league with evil, and around 6% of scientists are also either evil or in league with evil.

    Obviously, we are not counting scientists willing to work with the oil or tobacco industries, but simple working with evil because it’s a steady paycheck and, well, they kind of think about other things while doing it.

  6. ekwhite says

    It would be interesting to survey the Republican scientists to understand why they remain in the Republican party.

  7. samihawkins says

    Being a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t also be a racist, a homophobe or a narcissist who considers anyone poorer than them to be inferior scum.

    If anything the % should be higher, but I guess most of those types call themselves ‘Libertarians’.

  8. samihawkins says

    The moment I clicked submit I remembered I forgot ‘sexist’ on that list.

  9. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says

    What definition do they use for scientist? Some of the ones who show up here arguing for, say, the aquatic ape, or the evidence for extraterrestrial visitors guiding humanity, and other such nonsense (not to mention all the ID and creationist people). I mean, would the guy who does Timecube consider himself a scientist? (Not saying that any of these people are actually GOP, just pointing out that those who self-identify as scientists may not be what I consider a scientist)

  10. thumper1990 says

    I wonder if any of the 6% of “scientists” believe there is scientific evidence for women being worse at science?

  11. Larry says

    Dr. Evil, that’s one. Then there’s Dr. No. Two. Drs. Frankenstein, Moreau, and Lecter. I’m sure I’ll think of some more.

  12. David Marjanović says

    Whatinhell are you doing posting a new one at this time of night?

    PZ has minions a bot that posts at regular intervals. He writes in advance.

    The moment I clicked submit I remembered I forgot ‘sexist’ on that list.

    And indeed, the graphic clearly shows that 100 % of scientists have a male shoulders/waist/hips ratio.

  13. says

    The scientist polled were AAAS members, 2500+ that filled out an online survey. I found it interesting that the public (represented by 2000 responses to phone survey) does have a positive view of science and generally believe it has a positive effect on society (in the 84% range).

  14. nich says

    …the Pew Research Center is funded by a small part of the very large endowment of The Pew Charitable Trusts…

    I have a million immature thoughts running through my head at this moment…

  15. Sastra says

    The public’s overwhelmingly positive view of science might reflect a certain confusion between science and technology. I suspect that if the two were somehow separated in a clear question, you might find the number of people who approve of ‘scientists who work at discovering and understanding the nature of reality’ is lower. But I don’t know.

    One of the popular sayings on atheist/skeptic/humanist/science forums is that “reality has a liberal bias.” Many years ago the self-image of the Republican was that of someone with a slide rule and serious expression, saying what had to be said and doing what had to be done while the Democrats were dancing around with flowers in their hair trying to summon the fairies. I think Republicans still like that general image — the reality-based tough pragmatist — but they’ve put down the slide rule and picked up a Bible. No. That doesn’t fool the scientists.

  16. Abdul Alhazred says

    Every dishonest apologetic trick in the book, right PZ?

    Are you going down a checklist?

  17. says

    @8: ‘sfunny, so did I. What is it about the graphic that leads to that illusion? (Or is it just because I left my computer glasses at home today?)

  18. stevem says

    But wait, wait, wait. You’re looking at it backwards! Aren’t they really saying 94% of Scientists are Democrats (at least, NOT Republican). Isn’t that a CONSENSUS that the Democratic Party is THE ONE for Scientists? Does only a 100% majority (unanimity) count? Don’t we always allow “outliers” in our scientific measurements of even physical phenomena, much more so for psychological phenomena? Can’t the 6% just be the unexplained “outliers” scientists always have to “sweep under the rug” and ignore? Why ask “why”, no answers anywhere.

    But then again, aren’t scientists SMART? How could a smart person EVER choose the Republican party for his own? Republicans are known, well known, as the party of stupid (Even Jindahl said so). But, oh, maybe those scientists just like to feel like the smartest person in the world, so surround themselves with the stoopids, to be smarter then everyone around them. Maybe those 6% just have an ego problem.

  19. atheist says

    @Abdul Alhazred – 10 May 2013 at 8:51 am (UTC -5)

    Every dishonest apologetic trick in the book, right PZ?

    Are you going down a checklist?

    Wut?

  20. stevem says

    And indeed, the graphic clearly shows that 100 % of scientists have a male shoulders/waist/hips ratio.

    But they all seem to be wearing skirts! (or maybe kilts) Is it just deliberately ‘ambiguous’?

  21. roricus says

    @13: I don’t know how the numbers in that Sci-Am graphic were tabulated, but I assume that any grant that comes from the military would be filed under ‘defense’. As someone who is paid on one of these grants, I can promise that not all ‘defense’ research is focused on killer robots or hypersonic aircraft. Unlike certain political parties, the DoD seems to recognize the value in funding basic science. That being said, it would be nice to see more of those dollars being distributed by the NSF.

  22. daniellavine says

    @25,@27:

    Ahahahahahaha, poor pouty Republicans.

    It’s OK. 6% isn’t that bad. (OK, it’s pretty bad.)

  23. scottcunningham says

    I’m looking at this question from the other angle. Scientists are disproportionately older white men with high social status, disproportionately coming from higher income families of birth, who have job security if they have tenure and actual knowledge and skills to feel they earned their position above other people in society, and there’s a definite problem with sexism in hiring, advancement an retention.

    So really, the question’s more like how the GOP lost so many people with multiple kinds of privilege who could erase it by claiming hard work, study or personal genius. I mean, doctors have a pretty similar demographic bias and real abilities to cover up race, sex and class privilege, and even here in Canada there are a lot more than 6% of doctors who are conservative.

    Endlessly attacking the legitimacy of science itself, years of attacks on scientific funding and nonsense about Jesus riding a T Rex and shooting Romans with an M16 probably cost the GOP a lot of voters who started right in their pocket.

  24. Martha says

    @10 dongiovanni:

    A number of them are probably Engineers pretending… /blockquote>

    Don’t forget chemists. In my experience, even in academia, they tend to be conservative, and I’ve met a surprising number of chemists who are fundamentalists. I guess chemistry doesn’t challenge their views of the world with pesky little ideas like evolution or the big bang.

    Actually, as a member of a chemistry department, I was surprised the number of Republicans was so low. At first, I thought it was likely that the bulk of the 35% who call themselves independents were secretly conservative. But then I looked at the next chart in the Pew Report and saw that only 9% self-identify as conservative at all.

    Samihawkins (#15) is right: some of those “moderates” must be libertarians. Or the AAAS sample is biased toward biologists and physicists (which it may well be).

  25. moarscienceplz says

    Oh, this is quite easily explained. Most “scientists” are just liberals and hippies who make up lies about Evolution and Global Warming in order to get free money from the government to buy their pot with. The 6% are undoubtedly the true scientists who get their money honorably from oil and tobacco companies.

    /snark

  26. nullifidian says

    Ogvorbis @ #18:
    I mean, would the guy who does Timecube consider himself a scientist? (Not saying that any of these people are actually GOP, just pointing out that those who self-identify as scientists may not be what I consider a scientist)

    He may not be a registered member of the GOP, but Gene Ray did endorse McCain.

  27. coffeehound says

    @ 27, md,

    Diversity is our strength.

    Yeah, all those y chromosomes in multiple shades of…..beige.

  28. quidam says

    dongiovanni: A number of them are probably Engineers pretending…

    Snide asshole.

    Engineers can be scientists, scientists can be engineers. The categories are not mutually exclusive.

  29. says

    @42: They *can* be, but are not so automatically, and there is a common phenomenon (called the Salem Hypothesis) of an engineer parlaying their credentials into undeserved status as a “scientist”, who should therefore be listened to on subjects they have only superficial understanding of.

    Me? I’m an engineer who tries to know his limitations.

  30. quidam says

    Indeed. The same is true for any discipline. Not all biologists, physicists, geologists, chemists are scientists.

    It’s not so much a hypothesis as a prejudice pulled from the nether regions. Calling it an hypothesis is only an attempt to give it undeserved status as a scientific observation

    Any scientist outside their discipline may have only a superficial understanding. I wouldn’t allow PZ’s credentials to give him ‘undeserved status’ when commenting on say sub-atomic physics. Or a physicist commenting on evolution. Or for that matter an electrical engineer commenting on rock mechanics

    Knowing one’s limitations is fine but you make it sound like knowing one’s place.

  31. anchor says

    The blaring correlation is obvious: its not a dispute between reasoned opinion. Its obviously a war against willful and abject stupidity.

    There are ‘atheists’ who thunder against the popular notion of supernatural entitlement.

    There are ‘skeptics’ who scorn rinky-dink beliefs outside of rational real-world explanation.

    Its time for rationality to bite down and declare a war on ignorance and stupidity.

  32. chigau (違う) says

    anecdata
    The only person I have ever met in meat-space who thought that humans could not have built the pyramids was an engineer.
    The only person I have ever met in meat-space who thought that men have one fewer ribs than women was an engineer.
    /anecdata

  33. ck says

    As far as I know, due to the various perversities of the U.S. political system, there are good reasons to register Republican in some places even if you’re never going to vote for them.

  34. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    As far as I know, due to the various perversities of the U.S. political system, there are good reasons to register Republican in some places even if you’re never going to vote for them.

    Primaries.

  35. says

    More anecdata – my brother is a scientist who doubts AGW. I’m an engineer who accepts it. Is the Salem Hypothesis anything more than just a lot of confirmation bias. Does anyone know of any polls similar to this Pew one, but for engineers? After a few minutes of googling, the closest I could find were this study:
    http://www.evolution-outreach.com/content/6/1/3

    and this article:
    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/01/why-do-so-many.html

    neither of which addressed the issue directly, but which would suggest that engineers do accept evolution at a higher rate than the general public (I know that’s not the original defintion of the Salem Hypothesis, but it seems to have morphed in many people’s usage to mean that a lot of engineers are creationists).

  36. rustiguzzi says

    FWIW, the difference between science and engineering was explained some years ago by the head (I’ve forgotten his name) of a British engineering company, thus:

    “If a spaceship lands on another planet, it’s a triumph for science. If it blows up on the lauchpad it’s an engineering failure.”

  37. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @md

    Yes just like being riddled with cankors and tumors makes you strong.

    See how the small minded retreat into a sophistry? “All opinions are equal” truthiness

  38. quidam says

    I am aware that there is a perception that ‘engineers are creationists’ – which if challenged becomes more nuanced and falls back to ‘maybe engineers are creationists a higher rate than some other groupings’.

    The reality is that there is no data that I am aware of to support this. It may be true, there is data that suggests that chemists are slightly more likely to be creationists than biologists and physicists. But it would be stupid to accuse chemists of being creationists.

    It’s certainly true that a small number of very prominent creationists with legitimate academic qualifications have been engineers (Henry Morris, Walt Brown, Andrew Schlafly and Harold Camping spring to mind). A surprising number of YEC’s have held PhDs in Geology (Andrew Snelling and Kurt Wise for example). And large number have bogus qualifications (Kent Hovind and most of the rest).

    All we’re really saying is that anyone who appeals to an argument from their academic credentials, is committing a fallacy and likely to be misrepresenting (or at least over valuing) them, and (possibly) that the closer a discipline is to dealing with issues that directly contradict the bible, the less likely the members are to believe it. Oh and that creationists are dicks.

    The real difference between science and engineering is that there is isn’t. There is considerable overlap and discussing how the extremes – a university research physicist and a structural engineer (say) – differ, overlooks the reality that most people with a science degree don’t do science in their everyday jobs.

    And let’s not forget that Peter Debye had a degree in Electrical Engineering, a PhD in Physics and won a Chemistry Nobel Prize. Engineering and Chemistry? Clearly a creationist. Oh and Jamie Hyneman’s degree is in Russian linguistics and Adam Savage has no degree or formal science qualifications.

  39. quidam says

    Oh and I forgot the prominent biologists in the creationist camp: Behe, Wells, Purdom et al.

    All who parlay their credentials into undeserved status.

  40. Usernames are smart says

    In school, every Political Science (major) I knew was a Junior Republican.

    Maybe many of them grew up to be “libertarian.”

    // What Chigau #46 said

  41. Igor Melios says

    Looking at the membership and board of the AAAS it looks like >90% of the people work for a public institute in some fashion. It seems likely that a poll of an organization of people whose lives are spent in public institutions earning publicly funded salaries would support the political party most supporting them.

    You’d get a similar effect if you asked how many petroleum engineers are democrats. Yes, people tend to vote for the party that supports their best interests.