Yesterday, there was a photo going around with the search results of ‘scientists are’… It was not encouraging. I’ve included my searches:
You see that the results are different in different browsers – but both are a bit concerning.
On twitter, people have said that they will start putting ‘scientists are awesome‘ into searches to hopefully train Google. I’ll definitely keep doing that – if I see any differences, I’ll update the post.
Do these searches suggest that people don’t trust scientists? Are people searching for things to confirm their initial beliefs? I was feeling a bit disconcerted until I did the some other searches:
This could reflect some of my previous searches – I enjoy the ‘science is real‘ song. Or does it reflect that people trust science more than the people behind it? I know that I trust government more than I trust individual politicians (yep, I’m Canadian). I guess I trust in the checks and balances for both government and science. What are some other interpretations?
Some people on Facebook were saying that the strange searches were a result of right wing/religious/etc. people altering Google metrics. However, that doesn’t hold up if you do the same for a majority religion:
So do our suggested Google searches help us confirm biases? After all, if you are a scientist, you might not be searching for a definition (same for Christians). Do you change your searches based on Google’s auto-complete?
What do you think?