Associations between conspiracism and the rejection of scientific innovations

Marques, MD, Kerr, JR, Williams, MN, Ling, Mathew and McLennan, J 2021, Associations between conspiracism and the rejection of scientific innovations, Public Understanding of Science, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.1177/09636625211007013.

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Title Associations between conspiracism and the rejection of scientific innovations
Author(s) Marques, MD
Kerr, JR
Williams, MN
Ling, MathewORCID iD for Ling, Mathew
McLennan, J
Journal name Public Understanding of Science
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher SAGE Publications
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2021-04-16
ISSN 0963-6625
Keyword(s) Arts & Humanities
GM food
History & Philosophy of Science
public opinion
science attitudes and perceptions
Social Sciences
Summary Public opinion regarding scientific developments such as genetically modified food can be mixed. We suggest such science-based technological innovations are rejected by some because they are perceived to be advanced as part of a conspiracy. In nationally representative samples (Australia n = 1011; New Zealand n = 754), we report the associations between five conspiracism facets and anti-science attitudes. Results indicate broad public opposition to genetically modified food and use of nuclear power, but more acceptance of renewable power, potable recycled water, 5G networks, and childhood vaccinations. There were small to moderate associations between the rejection of scientific innovations and conspiracism. Multivariate models estimating unique associations of conspiracism facets with anti-science attitudes suggested several novel and important relationships, particularly for childhood vaccination, genetically modified food, and 5G networks. We discuss the importance of examining factors such as conspiracism in understanding what may motivate and sustain rejection of scientific evidence-based claims about socially contentious technological innovations.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/09636625211007013
Field of Research 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
1903 Journalism and Professional Writing
2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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