In a study done by the University of Oxford, they suggest that there may be a reason for conservatives to be skeptical about specific scientific claims. In fact, they go as far as to say that conservatives have a “right” to be skeptical of scientists, the Western Journal reported.
The study “Does activism in the Social Sciences Explain Conservatives’ Distrust of Scientists?” was led by Professor of Biology for the University of Oxford Nathan Confas and was first published online back in 2017. The study was brought back into the public eye this month when American Sociologist republished it.
“Confas said that ‘liberals and conservatives are equally likely to discredit science if it conflicts with their world-view.’
“He proposed that the reason so many conservatives are skeptical is that there is an increase of liberalism within the scientific community.
“He cited a recent study to prove his point. The study surveyed 479 sociology professors, and only 4 percent identified as conservative or libertarian. Compare this with the 86 percent who identify themselves as liberal or left-radical.
“He added, ‘Conservatives are right to be skeptical. Take any politicized issue that is connected to some disagreement about scientific fact. I do not believe there is a single case in the last couple decades where a major scientific organization took a position that went against the platform of the Democratic Party.'”
It’s not just sociology where you notice liberal bias creeping in, but also in academics. UNT professor George Yancy published a piece titled, “Yes Academic Bias is a Problem and We Need to Address It.”
“Given the reality that academics are much more politically progressive and irreligious than the general population, one should be concerned about the potential of liberal and secular bias,” he wrote. “Those like myself are also concerned about academic bias simply because such bias can lead to bad science.”
Confas concluded, “Taking the easy route isn’t something that I or my coauthors are tempted to do. We want to do our part to help correct the science.”