Public perceptions of who counts as a scientist for controversial science

Brianne Suldovsky, Asheley Landrum, Natalie Jomini Stroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In an era where expertise is increasingly critiqued, this study draws from the research on expertise and scientist stereotyping to explore who the public considers to be a scientist in the context of media coverage about climate change and genetically modified organisms. Using survey data from the United States, we find that political ideology and science knowledge affect who the US public believes is a scientist in these domains. Our results suggest important differences in the role of science media attention and science media selection in the publics “scientist” labeling. In addition, we replicate previous work and find that compared to other people who work in science, those with PhDs in Biology and Chemistry are most commonly seen as scientists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-811
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • climate change
  • expertise
  • genetically modified organisms
  • media
  • scientist stereotypes


Dive into the research topics of 'Public perceptions of who counts as a scientist for controversial science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this