On the News | Conservatives and liberals united only by interest in dinosaurs, study shows @ The Guardian


On the News @ The Guardian


Title: 

Conservatives and liberals united only by interest in dinosaurs, study shows


Excerpt:

The study showed 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 field. Dinosaurs were universally fascinating, however. Photograph: Travis Tischler/Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History (@source)

“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.

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“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

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)