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‘It’s Not a Political Issue!’ The Interaction of Subject and Politics on Professors’ Beliefs in Human-induced Climate Change 2018-03-21

This study examines the interaction of political orientation with academic discipline on beliefs in anthropogenic climate change (ACC) among higher education faculty. Over 300 faculty members at two research institutions in the United States were surveyed on topics concerning ACC and the results were analyzed with multiple regression. Even among professors, there was a strong relationship between political orientation (liberal versus conservative) and belief in ACC; however, the relationship was substantially attenuated among professors who taught courses in liberal arts and education. On the other hand, the relationship between political orientation and ACC belief was much stronger among faculty teaching business and hotel management, compared to faculty teaching other subjects. Finally, there was a main positive effect for teaching science. The results suggest that outreach efforts to encourage more faculty to include climate change relevant information in their courses might give high priority to faculty in liberal arts and education.


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