Trust in scientists, Albania ranks last according to study

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In a study conducted by two professors, Dr. Viktoria Kologna and Dr. Niels G. Mede respectively from Harvard University and Zurich on public trust in science and scientists, Albania ranks last in trust in scientists.

The study was conducted in 67 countries and analyzed the responses of approximately 71,500 individuals, where a score of 1 indicates the lowest estimation and 5 the highest. Globally, trust in scientists according to this study is 3.62.

Albania ranks alongside Bolivia and Kazakhstan for the lowest trust in scientists. The highest levels are in Egypt and India.

Among the 239 researchers in this study were Ani Bajrami and Renata Tokrri from Albania. They supported the results for Albania based on data collected from a group of about 340 individuals from various educational and age groups. Data collection for Albania was funded by Aleksandër Moisiu University in Durrës.

Ani Bajrami, a lecturer at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana, highlighted the reasons for the low trust of Albanian citizens in science and scientists.

“From the explanations we could provide in the article, scientists in Albania do not realize two important links in the scientific process, communicating with the public about scientific results and actively participating in policymaking,” Bajrami told Voice of America.

After the results of the study, researchers from each country independently process the reasons for their countries’ rankings. For this reason, there is currently no data on why Egypt and India rank first for high levels of trust in scientists.

In comments on the study, scientific researcher Ani Bajrami highlighted the risk posed by people’s opposition to science.

“Here, I bring up as an example the case of distrust in the anti-Covid-19 vaccine during the pandemic or distrust in climate change. This antagonism with science jeopardizes individual life,” she elaborated.

The study on the level of trust in science and scientists, both globally and in the case of Albania, highlights that the majority of citizens would like active participation of scientists in issues that concern them.

“Albanian citizens want active participation of scientists, especially in issues that concern them, such as poverty reduction and improving health quality,” continued Bajrami.

Another aspect of the study is that citizens mostly do not want scientists to have influence in military technology. This can be explained by the current state of wars worldwide and the dramatic consequences on the population.

The article on the level of public trust in science and scientists has been published in the database of unpublished scientific articles, and in May, the complete data is expected to be published in the scientific journal Nature Scientific Data.

Supported by the study, according to scientific researchers, the good news for the future is that globally, trust in scientists is over 50%.

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