Perhaps some additional consideration is in order besides some knee-jerk and ill-informed views that the reasons the scientists tend liberal is because liberals supposedly think more then conservatives who just accept the status quo with no thought. A more thoughtful approach is to take from the study specific reasons for scientists' leanings to understand what can be derived from the study. Specifically, three points from the study:
1) Scientists often depend on various types of government funding, and, therefore, tend to view the Government more as an integral part to solving problems than would non-scientists. Therefore, they may view a larger Government as better for their income.
2) Scientists suspected the Bush administration suppressed research findings of government scientists.
3) Scientists are at odds with religious fundamentalists, in many areas, most notably stem cell research. They often associate religious fundamentalists with social conservatives, and tend away from these viewpoints.
One conclusion that is not apparent from these points is any specific support for some positions held by liberals, such as entitlement spending, support to unions, restrictions on oil exploration. The logical fallacy in using umbrella terms is to assume because scientists favor liberal position for specific reasons, they must favor most or all liberal positions.
I previously referenced a study that examined differences in anxiety, depression, and goal-seeking in conservatives, liberals, and moderates. It showed liberals higher in anxiety and depression, but conservatives higher in goal-seeking. By the same token, it would be a mistake to associate these results with scientists, because some of the motivating factors for scientists to be liberal are very different than the factors motivating other liberals.
BTW, from my own experience, prior to some of the positions on the right alienating scientists and in cases where dependence on government funding is not significant, I recall more scientists tending politically conservative. I remember in more turbulent times on campuses where I was, the science and engineering students were more serious, goal-oriented, while many on the left were trying to find themselves. Not 100%, many exceptions, but I found liberals to be more driven by emotion, and that is my assessment of many on RJ.