In the current clime of political upheaval and unrest, can an interest in science help unite people across the political divide? Probably not, according to a new study that has shown when it comes to science, liberals and conservatives don’t have a lot in common. In fact, there’s only one thing they both tend to agree on: Dinosaurs are awesome.
Despite the fact that science, being based on facts and systematic study, should be bipartisan doesn’t mean it is. We should all be able to agree that the Earth is not flat, climate change does exist, and man has indeed landed on the Moon. However, strangely, in 2017 all of these are up for “debate”.
Scientists from Cornell University, Yale, and the University of Chicago looked into the scientific reading and book-buying habits of liberals and conservatives, and they discovered that, though both sides showed a broad interest in science, there was very little overlap in their fields of interest.
“It turns out that liberals and conservatives can agree about dinosaurs, but not much else,” said Cornell’s Michael Macy, one of the authors of the study, in a statement.
The authors suggest in their paper, published in Nature Human Behaviour, that disagreements about scientific theories and endeavors have become the new “battlefield for culture wars”. They wanted to know whether a shared interest in science could bridge political differences or whether selective interests reinforced the existing divide.