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Pew survey reveals strong support for government investing in research

July 12, 2018

A new Pew Research Center survey shows strong support among Americans for government investments in medical research, engineering and technology, and basic scientific research, echoing previous reports from 2014 and 2009. That support crosses political parties, although liberal Democrats show a greater percentage of support (92 percent) compared to conservative Republicans (61 percent).

When asked to weigh the importance of government versus private investment in research funding, a majority (57 percent) of Americans said government funding is essential for scientific progress, while 42 percent said private funding would suffice. There was a greater difference from the political spectrum on this question with 78 percent of liberal Democrats saying that government funding of research was essential for scientific progress compared to 31 percent of conservative Republicans. Two-thirds of conservative Republicans (67 percent) responded that private investment will ensure enough progress.