Many people place greater trust in university and industry scientists than in religious organizations to tell the truth about the risks and benefits of technologies, reports the journal Public Understanding of Science. But among evangelicals, the pattern is reversed, with religious organizations trusted significantly more than scientific sources.
The study also found that evangelical and non-evangelical participants differed in which factors were associated with trust in university scientists. For non-evangelicals, greater scientific knowledge was associated with higher levels of trust. But for evangelicals, neither of these was associated with greater trust. In fact, evangelicals with greater scientific knowledge reported lower levels of trust in university scientists.