• People in India have the most trust in scientists.
  • Around the world, scientists are more trusted than business leaders and governments.
  • There is, however, scepticism around AI and workplace automation.

That is significantly more than in many Western economies such as the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Germany.

Science trust countries India scientists
Only in India does more than half the population express trust in the experts.
Image: Pew Research Center

However, most nations hold scientists in high esteem when compared with other prominent groups such as the government, the media or business leaders.

There is also broad agreement among all the economies surveyed about the value of scientific research, with most people seeing it as important for their country to be a leader in scientific achievements.

Despite the positive view of scientists in general, there is a much more mixed view when it comes to artificial intelligence and automation in the workplace.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The World Economic Forum was the first to draw the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advances. Policies, norms and regulations have not been able to keep up with the pace of innovation, creating a growing need to fill this gap.

The Forum established the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network in 2017 to ensure that new and emerging technologies will help—not harm—humanity in the future. Headquartered in San Francisco, the network launched centres in China, India and Japan in 2018 and is rapidly establishing locally-run Affiliate Centres in many countries around the world.

The global network is working closely with partners from government, business, academia and civil society to co-design and pilot agile frameworks for governing new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, blockchain, data policy, digital trade, drones, internet of things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.

Learn more about the groundbreaking work that the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is doing to prepare us for the future.

Want to help us shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Contact us to find out how you can become a member or partner.

While economies in the Asia-Pacific region are more likely to have a positive attitude to advances in this area, 42% of people surveyed said automation had been a bad thing.

And people in France, Spain and Brazil are among the least likely to say automation in the workplace has been good for society.

The research was conducted by the Pew Research Center across 20 different economies, with the survey ending in March 2020, before the global coronavirus pandemic had reached some places.