Table 3. Major characteristics of U.S. adults as segmented by their views on science and
society.

Nisbet M, Markowitz EM ...
Figure 1. Views on science and society as a proportion of U.S adult population and by
percentage favoring embryonic stem c...
Table 4. Results of ordered probit regression models predicting U.S. adult support for
embryonic stem cell research.

Nisb...
Table 5. Results of ordered probit regression models testing interactions between education
and partisanship and education...
Figure 2. Percentage of U.S. adults by partisanship who favor embryonic stem cell research,
2002–2010.

Nisbet M, Markowit...
Figure 3. Percentage of U.S. adults by partisanship and education who favor embryonic stem
cell research, 2002–2010.

Nisb...
Figure 4. Percentage of U.S. adults by views on science and society who favor embryonic stem
cell research, 2002–2010.

Ni...
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Key Tables & Figures from Nisbet & Markowitz 2014 PLOS ONE Study on Public Opinion in Biomedical Debates

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http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0088473

Nisbet, M.C. & Markowitz, E. (2014). Understanding Public Opinion in Debates Over Biomedical Research: Looking Beyond Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLOS ONE.

Abstract

As social scientists have investigated the political and social factors influencing public opinion in science-related policy debates, there has been growing interest in the implications of this research for public communication and outreach. Given the level of political polarization in the United States, much of the focus has been on partisan differences in public opinion, the strategies employed by political leaders and advocates that promote those differences, and the counter-strategies for overcoming them. Yet this focus on partisan differences tends to overlook the processes by which core beliefs about science and society impact public opinion and how these schema are often activated by specific frames of reference embedded in media coverage and popular discourse. In this study, analyzing cross-sectional, nationally representative survey data collected between 2002 and 2010, we investigate the relative influence of political partisanship and science-related schema on Americans' support for embryonic stem cell research. In comparison to the influence of partisan identity, our findings suggest that generalized beliefs about science and society were more chronically accessible, less volatile in relation to media attention and focusing events, and an overall stronger influence on public opinion. Classifying respondents into four unique audience groups based on their beliefs about science and society, we additionally find that individuals within each of these groups split relatively evenly by partisanship but differ on other important dimensions. The implications for public engagement and future research on controversies related to biomedical science are discussed.

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Key Tables & Figures from Nisbet & Markowitz 2014 PLOS ONE Study on Public Opinion in Biomedical Debates

  1. 1. Table 3. Major characteristics of U.S. adults as segmented by their views on science and society. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473
  2. 2. Figure 1. Views on science and society as a proportion of U.S adult population and by percentage favoring embryonic stem cell research. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473
  3. 3. Table 4. Results of ordered probit regression models predicting U.S. adult support for embryonic stem cell research. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473
  4. 4. Table 5. Results of ordered probit regression models testing interactions between education and partisanship and education and science schema. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473
  5. 5. Figure 2. Percentage of U.S. adults by partisanship who favor embryonic stem cell research, 2002–2010. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473
  6. 6. Figure 3. Percentage of U.S. adults by partisanship and education who favor embryonic stem cell research, 2002–2010. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473
  7. 7. Figure 4. Percentage of U.S. adults by views on science and society who favor embryonic stem cell research, 2002–2010. Nisbet M, Markowitz EM (2014) Understanding Public Opinion in Debates over Biomedical Research: Looking beyond Political Partisanship to Focus on Beliefs about Science and Society. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88473. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088473 http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0088473

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