FiveThirtyEight weighs in on the gap between what scientists know and what the public thinks about a variety of issues, including GMOs. The FiveThirtyEight piece is in response to the results of two recent surveys conducted by the New Pew Research Center. The surveys assessed views on science and society. The biggest gaps between scientists and the public were around issues relating to food.

A major takeaway?


“The biggest gap between scientists and the public came on issues that may elicit fear: the safety of genetically modified (or GMO) foods (37 percent of the public said GMOs were safe, compared to 88 percent of scientists) and the use of pesticides in agriculture (28 percent of the public said foods grown with pesticides were safe to eat, versus 68 percent of scientists).”

Aschwanden also notes that:

“Science can provide data on risks and benefits, but ultimately these decisions require human judgments that often involve politics and ethical considerations too. Experts, even scientists, may disagree on the answers, even when they agree on the underlying science.”

This is worth a read. Bonus: superb infographics.