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Trust In Scientists Grows As Fake Coronavirus News Rises, UK Poll Finds

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Public trust in the work of scientists and health experts has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, amid a surge in misinformation about the virus, a poll has found. The opinion poll by the Open Knowledge Foundation, an open data campaign group, found 64% of voters were now more likely to listen to expert advice from scientists and researchers, with only 5% saying they were less likely to do so. The Survation poll also found 51% of the population had seen fake news about the coronavirus, including discredited claims that Covid-19 was linked to 5G mobile phone masts, on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

A majority of voters, 59%, also trusted the government to make the right decisions about using confidential data to decide when to lift the lockdown and change social distancing rules. However, 35% of voters said they did not trust the government, with only 6% unsure. The public also wanted much greater access to scientific data, and disliked restrictions on their right to get information. Survation found that 67% of voters believe that all research findings in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine should be made freely available. In addition, 97% of the 1,006 voters polled said government and health bodies should release non-confidential data used by ministers and the NHS to inform their policies, and 95% said that data should always be openly available, on principle.

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