On the News @ The Guardian
Conservatives and liberals united only by interest in dinosaurs, study shows
“Hopes that science and its unending quest for the truth can mend the cracks in a divided society have taken a hit as new research has found liberals and conservatives share little common ground on the subject – apart from a fascination with dinosaurs.
Because science intends – in theory at least – to accrue facts from solid evidence, it stands a chance of bringing people together on issues they all agree with, such as the Earth circling the sun, and the first five digits of pi. That, the hope goes, might help reverse the social fragmentation that increasingly pits different groups against one another.
But the research published on Monday suggests that the potential for science to unite across the political divide might be rather limited. “It turns out that liberals and conservatives can agree about dinosaurs, but not much else,” said Michael Macy, director of the social dynamics lab and author on the study at Cornell University in New York.
With researchers at Yale and the University of Chicago, Macy pored over more than a million book purchases by people on the right and left of the political spectrum. He found that while both sides shared a broad interest in science, there was little overlap in the subjects they read, or the books they picked within scientific fields.
“We wanted to see to what extent science is something that liberals and conservatives might agree on, and if that could serve as a bridge across the political divide,” Macy said.” (…) READ MORE
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