Finally, as our work consistently shows, education proves to be one of the strongest indicators of higher trust in most professions – for instance, those with degrees are more likely to say they trust economists to tell the truth by a 30 percentage point margin (67% versus 37% among those with no formal qualifications) and there are similar-sized gaps for scientists (90% versus 67%), judges (92% versus 71%) and museum curators (90% versus 70%).
Overall the data should remind us that while there is an ongoing challenge with trust, it is not in any kind of acute crisis – trust in government has not collapsed: despite Donald Trump’s best efforts it didn’t change in America between 2011 and 2019. Globally, leaders like Angela Merkell, Scott Morrison in Australia and Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand have all shown that you can maintain or grow trust with clear, consistent communications and policy, and empathy towards their people. If you can get this right, you will be rewarded – Scott Morrison went from a tone deaf handling of bush fires in 2019, to 66% approval in November 2020. It’s a reminder to us all that there is always something we can do!