France is wary of science and vaccines, global survey finds

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Science  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6446, pp. 1122
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6446.1122

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France, cradle of the Concorde, the face transplant, and the first isolation of HIV, is more wary of vaccines and the economic value of science than more than 140 other countries, according to a global survey of public attitudes toward science and health released this week. But French scientists say the skepticism is familiar and doesn't affect their work; some suggest it instead reflects a deep-seated mistrust of institutions. When asked whether vaccines are safe, one-third of the 1000 French respondents to the survey disagreed—far more than in other nations. (In the United States, 11% disagreed.) The mistrust didn't vary much across age, gender, or education, according to the survey, conducted by the Gallup World Poll for the Wellcome Trust, a biomedical charity based in London.