In recent years, much has been written about the evolution of public trust in science and the scientists who immerse themselves, especially in health and nutrition research. Many of the articles in the literature have speculated on the reasons for an apparent decline in public trust or acceptance of science and have explored in some depth the challenges around promoting and retaining public trust. However, the associations between public trust and other factors have been largely speculative. Now, a first of its kind comprehensive survey of more than 140 000 people in more than 140 countries sheds new light on those associations. In the present article, the authors explore various findings from that survey, the Wellcome Global Monitor 2019-Wellcome Trust, completed in partnership with Gallup. They offer some analysis of the survey findings of varying levels of public trust in science around the world. It is worth noting that the survey results, although not specific to food, nutrition, and health, are extremely relevant to the communication of those issues.
Sylvia Rowe, MA, is currently president of SR Strategy, which addresses the science to communications to policy continuum on a broad range of global health, nutrition, food safety, and risk issues. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
Nick Alexander, BA, is a former senior media counselor for the International Food Information Council Foundation located in Washington, DC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Harvard University and is a former network correspondent with ABC News in New York. After a 25-year broadcast career, he turned to strategic media communication and has, for more than a decade, counseled a variety of clients, including research scientists, on communication strategies, message development, and media relations.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Sylvia Rowe, MA, SR Strategy, 1100 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 600, Washington, DC 20036 (email@example.com).