So, who would trust to tell the truth in a crisis: a politician or a scientist?
Survey after survey shows that people with technical qualifications easy outshine the politicos.
At the end of this post, you will find a recent one from Gallup, one the world’s most respected polling organisations to prove that everyone trusts the professionals and nobody trusts the politcians.
Now you may quibble with the results, but it clear that the medical professionals are way up there ahead of politicians who are lurking down there below the car salespeople, business executives, lawyers and estate agents.
So why do not the politicians stay out of the way in a crisis?
In the UK, we now have a TV show called Boris and Boffins which competes for airtime with Donald and the Doctors.
Early last week, Boris led the press conference on coronavirus and, let’s be frank, made a mess of it. But he’s a quick learner and later in the week, he was happy to hand the most of the stage to the Boffins.
And we all listened attentively because we trust them. So, that begs the question: are the politicians diminishing their own message by appearing at all? I suppose they have to give the impression that they are somehow in control.
But you might say that science is boring. True. But all we want is facts, not spin or slogans. (Boris, leave that to your hero – Winston Churchill.)
Our trust in science (disclosure: I am a scientist) is huge even when it does not give a definitive answer.
Every single scientific paper ever written has the common conclusion of:’ More Research is needed’. Of course, it is.
Otherwise us scientists are out of a job. And we’re not stupid.
Have a good week and enjoy your own company.