Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Kristin Bezio


Scientific institutions have long played a central role in the progress and prosperity of our nation. Just imagine where society would be without the discovery of DNA, the light bulb, or antibiotics. However, today, the American scientific community faces a major threat: political polarization and the politicized discrediting of science. This project aims to analyze the specific relationships between political ideology, scientific education, and scientific belief. Gathering data to conceptualize these complex relationships through a survey has produced a better understanding of this relationship and was used to make recommendations on how to address this pressing issue.

This project seeks to assess the role of both political ideology and science education level in an individual's stance on politically polarized science-related issues. This study’s findings suggest that the intense state of polarization seen in America today has begun to cause political ideology to influence individuals’ scientific beliefs on the “political” topics of climate change, energy, and Covid and “nonpolitical” topics of GMOs, vaccines, HIV, evolution, and stem cells. However, the data also show that scientific knowledge has a positive effect on combating scientific disbelief.

Available for download on Monday, June 26, 2028