Analyzing available polling questions administered between 2002 and 2010, we review trends in public opinion about stem cell research. We specifically assess questions measuring public attention, knowledge, trust, and policy preferences. Across years, despite their consistently low levels of scientific knowledge and understanding, an increasing proportion of Americans supported government funding for embryonic stem cell research and viewed such research as morally acceptable. Variations related to question-wording effects, however, indicate that Americans remain relatively ambivalent about the moral trade-offs involved in research, suggesting that public opinion could change in relation to focusing events and political conditions.

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