Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in The Sociological Quarterly, 59:4 (2018), pp 584-602.

doi 10.1080/00380253.2018.1481726


Copyright © 2018 Midwest Sociological Society. Published by Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Science trust and views of science differ by political and religious orientations. In this study we examine whether political and religious perspectives are also associated with biological science knowledge, science interest, and general science identity. Results show that conservative Protestants have lower biological science knowledge than other religious groups on several specific topics. Party affiliation is associated with vaccine knowledge but not science interest and identity. Adjusting for demographic characteristics explains some political and religious group differences, but not all. We discuss implications regarding attention to potential political and religious framings of science topics in public education efforts.