2024 Edelman Trust Barometer

Edelman: “The 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals a new paradox at the heart of society. Rapid innovation offers the promise of a new era of prosperity, but instead risks exacerbating trust issues, leading to further societal instability and political polarization.

Innovation is accelerating – in regenerative agriculture, messenger RNA, renewable energy, and most of all in artificial intelligence. But society’s ability to process and accept rapid change is under pressure, with skepticism about science’s relationship with Government and the perception that the benefits skew towards the wealthy.

There is one issue on which the world stands united: innovation is being poorly managed – defined by lagging government regulation, uncertain impacts, lack of transparency, and an assumption that science is immutable. Our respondents cite this as a problem by nearly a two to one margin across most developed and developing countries, plus all age groups, income levels, educational levels, and genders. There is consensus among those who say innovation is poorly managed that society is changing too quickly and not in ways that benefit “people like me” (69%).

Many are concerned that Science is losing its independence: to Government, to the political process, and to the wealthy. In the U.S., two thirds assert that science is too politicized. For the first time in China, we see a contrast to their high trust in government: Three-quarters of respondents believe that Government and organizations that fund research have too much influence on science. There is concern about excessive influence of the elites, with 82% of those who say innovation is managed poorly believing that the system is biased in favor of the rich – this is 30 percentage points higher than those who feel innovation is managed well…(More)”.

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