That is the claim. Mother Jones reports.
…this decline in trust in science has been led by the most educated, most engaged segment of conservatism. Conservative elites have led the anti-science charge and the rank-and-file has followed.
This is presumably part of the wider conservative turn against knowledge-disseminating institutions whose output is perceived as too liberal (academia, the mainstream media, Hollywood) in favor of institutions that produce more reliably conservative narratives (churches, business-oriented think tanks, Fox News). More and more, liberals and conservatives are almost literally living in different worlds with different versions of consensus reality.
I have to call shenanigans on this one. I very much doubt conservatives – especially educated conservatives – are losing faith in science.
If I may speak for conservatives, we still very much believe in science as a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. We still believe in the body of reliable knowledge itself if it is of the type that can be logically and rationally explained. We still believe in scientific techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge and correcting and integrating previous knowledge. We certainly believe in non-authoritative scientific theory that speaks for itself and allows for contradiction and falsifiability when the theories are shown to be incorrect.
We are losing faith in one aspect of the world of science, however. We are losing faith in scientists. Two decades of activity by scientists who have run effective campaigns to mislead the public and corrupt well-established scientific methods in support of political and economic agendas has caused us to lose confidence. In case after case, scientists around the world have been caught suppressing data, modifying results, misrepresenting inputs and massaging outputs to produce politically correct findings.
According to one poll, 69 percent of Americans say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs. The Climategate email leak proved that global warming scientists colluded to keep unfavorable information from global warming skeptics, to bar skeptics from reviewing papers or having their papers published and colluding with the environmental activist groups to convince the public that man-man global warming is a huge threat.
That isn’t science. That is the opposite of science. Conservatives haven’t lost faith in science. They have lost faith in the practitioners of a dark activity that masquerades as science in order to corrupt it.