Trust in scientists is on the rise globally, poll finds

(CNN) — Trust in scientists is on the rise globally, with the majority of people saying they are knowledgeable about science, according to a new global poll of about 4,700 adults.

Overall, 64% of people said they trust scientists, an increase of 9% since 2011. Only 32% said they don’t trust scientists, a 3% decrease in trust.

The poll by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life was conducted from March 11 to April 9. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

This is the first time that the poll has asked about scientific literacy, asking people whether they have heard “a lot” or “some” about scientific facts such as global warming, evolution, vaccine safety, the causes of earthquakes and the existence of aliens.

In response to the first of those questions, 57% of people said they either had heard “a lot” or “some” about global warming. Overall, 74% of people said they believe in global warming — up 3% from 2011.

On the evolution question, 62% of respondents said they’d heard a lot or some about global warming, with 68% saying they’ve heard a lot or some about evolution. Overall, 70% of people said they believe in evolution, down 4% from 2011.

In the 2014 poll, 72% of respondents said vaccinations are safe — the same number that said they believed in evolution. The number of people saying that vaccines were safe grew 5 percentage points from 2011.

On the question of whether it’s acceptable to believe that supermassive black holes could exist in the universe, 77% of people said it was. Scientists say these hypothetical black holes are extremely dense and nothing can escape from them.

Overall, 80% of people said they believe in the reality of creationism, while 15% said they don’t believe in creationism or intelligent design.

In the United States, belief in creationism rose from 29% in 2011 to 37% in 2014.

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