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Science May Be The Real Winner In 2020 Polls

As the 2020 election looms, an intriguing new poll shows that Americans agree on one key issue: science. The survey published by Research!America shows that Americans overwhelmingly support science, regardless of their political parties.

According to the survey analysis, a strong majority of Americans agree that “the Covid-19 pandemic is a disruptive event and requires urgent refocusing of America’s commitment to science.” 88% believe that science benefits them and 89% believe that America should maintain its global leadership in science. Exactly. 

The unprecedented avalanche of misinformation that has been spread during the Covid-19 pandemic has been discouraging to both scientists and the public they serve. As people struggle to find the information they need to make decisions about life in the pandemic, the survey indicates that they still consider science the standard. 

Not only were survey participants committed to science, they were committed to funding for scientific research. Regardless of political affiliation, 66% of respondents were willing to pay $1 more a week in taxes to support scientific research. And that funding is needed because according to a recent report the U.S. is spending less and less on research. In fact, America is now in tenth place among other OECD nations for the share of GDP spent on research and development. 

“The level of bipartisan public consensus in this survey shows that support for science is much more than an agreement; it’s a mandate to elected officials to do more. It’s time for a national refocus on science so we may address the issues top of mind for Americans and live up to our full potential as a science-strong nation,” said Mary Woolley, Research!America President and CEO and a co-chair of the working group in a press release. 

Do Americans still value science? 

Recent events and decreases in funding has led to doubt about how much Americans supports science. So Research!America commissioned the nationwide survey on behalf of a working group formed to assess America’s commitment to science. The survey was run by Zogby Analytics in August and included 1,025 adults with an additional sample of 869 adults for minority oversampling.

The results were impressive: Americans are committed to science and they want their representatives to reflect that. 80% believe that it is important for elected officials listen to scientists, and 81% believe that it is important for scientists to talk to officials. 82% also want scientists to talk to the public. 

Beyond this, 76% think that federal government funding for basic science research matters to private sector innovation. 83% said they would strongly or somewhat recommend that their child, family member, or other young person enter a STEM field. 

Concern about climate change is also up by 10 points, as 66% say that climate change is impacting their own health compared to 56% when asked the same question in January 2020.

“All elected leaders should take note of the high expectations and enormous support for science held by the

Our View: Thumbs up to more youth sports facilities, a career of public service, a scholarship winner | COMMENTARY

THUMBS UP: While we certainly miss many, we do try to recognize long-tenured public servants at the end of successful careers. The latest to retire after a long career with Carroll County Government is Clay Black, who served in various positions for 37 years. He retired last week as bureau chief of development review. “It’s safe to say that just about every development project in the county and the municipalities Clay has either reviewed or supervised over the past 30-plus years,” Tom Devilbiss, director of land and resource management, said in a farewell to Black at the Sept. 24 Board of Commissioners meeting. Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, called Black “the heart and soul of Carroll County.” Black worked his way up from the permits office in 1983 to construction agreements coordinator to subdivision review assistant to development systems supervisor before becoming bureau chief in 2005. Black said he enjoyed serving the county commissioners, citizens and businesses in Carroll County. “My position has given me opportunities to help others with their projects. … allowed me to meet a vast amount of individuals and to work with amazing colleagues,” he told us. “Being able to work with citizens, developers, government officials, outside agencies, colleagues and others has been rewarding.” Black said he plans to spend more time with his wife and dogs and that after a scheduled surgery and physically therapy, he will be spending his days, among other things, golfing, traveling, camping, and volunteering. We wish him well in retirement.

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Mario Molina, Mexico chemistry Nobel winner, dies at 77

Mario Molina, Mexico chemistry Nobel winner, dies at 77
In this Feb 25. 2010 file photo, Mexico’s Nobel Chemistry Prize laureate Mario Molina gestures during a conference on global warming in Guadalajara, Mexico. Molina has died on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, his family informed. (AP Photo/Carlos Jasso, File)

Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1995 and the only Mexican scientist to be honored with a Nobel, died Wednesday in his native Mexico City. He was 77 years old.


Molina’s faamily announced his death in a brief statement through the institute that carried his name. It did not give a cause of death.

He won the prize along with scientists Frank Sherwood Rowland of the United States and Paul Crutzen of the Netherlands for their research into climate change.

Molina and Rowland published a paper in 1974 that saw the thinning of the ozone layer as a consequence of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals used in a range of products.

Molina’s work contributed to the drafting of the first international treaty on the subject, the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of the chemicals. Later, he focused on confronting air pollution in major cities like his own Mexico City and pushing for global actions to promote sustainable development.

One of his last public appearances was alongside Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, also a scientist, in a video conference during which Molina reflected on the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of wearing masks to avoid transmission.

Molina was a member, among other institutions, of the National Academy of Sciences and for eight years was one of the 21 scientists who composed President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Only two other Mexicans have been awarded Nobel Prizes: Alfonso García Robles received the Peace Prize in 1982 for his work on nuclear weapons negotiations and writer Octavio Paz was awarded the prize for literature in 1990.

Molina died on the same day this year’s prize for chemistry was awarded.


Video: Earth’s ozone layer


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