42% of Dartmouth Seniors Say They Don't Believe in God
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Today I received the latest issue of Dartmouth Alumni magazine to discover inside an interesting poll of graduating seniors at my alma mater. Long branded a conservative campus--with notable right wing alumni from the 1980s including Dinesh D'Souza and Laura Ingraham--perception these days doesn't seem to fit the reality of the student body.
According to the survey, when asked "Do you believe in God?," 42% of those surveyed answered "No." When then asked "Have your religious views changed while you've been at Dartmouth?," 25% answered "Yes."
In terms of partisan identity, among seniors surveyed, 55% considered themselves to be Democrats, 31% independent, and 13% Republican.
When asked to choose among a list of issues, "What concern will be most critical to your generation?," the environment was tops at 47%, followed by Middle East relations at 22%, and social security at 13%.