The top three places in the Readers Digest Most Trusted people in 2011 go to scientists:
1. Sir Ray Avery, scientist, inventor, New Zealander of the Year 2010
2. Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister
3. Sir Paul Callaghan, physicist and New Zealander of the Year 2011
That is good publicity for scientists and science, although it is important to keep in mind the survey is biased from the start because participants are asked to rank people already selected not choose them themselves.
The others in the top 10 are:
4. The Hon. Justice Helen Winkelmann, Chief High Court Judge
5. Roger Hall, film, TV and theatre actor, playwright
6. Bret McKenzie, comedian, actor, and musician
7. Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, fashion designer
8. Jemaine Clement, comedian, actor, and musician
9. Simon Salt Gault, celebrity chef and MasterChef judge
10. Tony Kokshoorn, Grey District Mayor
Is this the first time a politician has appeared this high?
Certainly other politicians don’t score well:
The Rt. Hon. John Key, current Prime Minister (90); Paul Holmes, broadcaster (91); Paul Henry, journalist, radio and TV presenter (92); Jim Anderton, Progressive Party leader (93); The Hon. Bill English, Deputy Prime Minister (94); The Hon. Pita Sharples, Minister of Maori Affairs (95); The Hon. Phil Goff, Labour Party leader (96); The Hon. Tariana Turia, Maori Party co-leader (97); The Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, New Zealand First leader (98); The Hon. Rodney Hide, Minister of Local Government (99); The Hon. Hone Harawira, activist, and Member for Te Tai Tokerau (100).
Politician isn’t the least trusted profession though, that honour goes to journalists (sigh) and real estate agents.
Fire fighters, rescue volunteers and paramedics are the most trusted professions (passing quickly over the point that volunteers aren’t professionals).
Participants weren’t asked if they trust this type of survey.