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What Drives Public Acceptance of Nanotechnology?

  • Steven C. Currall
  • Eden B. King
  • Neal Lane
  • Juan Madera
  • Stacy Turner
Part of the The Yearbook of Nanotechnology in Society book series (YNTS, volume 1)

Abstract

Nanotechnology promoters routinely voice concern that their envisioned futures for government research investments and commercial products are vulnerable to a potentially unreceptive public (Meyyappan, ch. 20). A common goal among those seeking to facilitate nanotechnology adoption is to avoid public rejection of the emerging technology, as in the oft cited case of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (see Williams, ch. 22). Currall and colleagues suggest that public resistance to GMOs resulted from “overreactions” that were “based on rumor and supposition.” To help ensure that the development of nanotechnology is not slowed, the authors suggest that public perceptions of it should be “based on objective science and engineering findings” (compare Goorden et al., ch. 14 and Sutcliffe, ch. 16). The authors conducted surveys using hypothetical product descriptions (as does Bennett, ch. 12) to ascertain US public attitudes toward the “risks and benefits” of nanotechnology in comparison to prior disruptive technologies. In clear contrast to other attempts to involve social scientists in public engagement efforts (Türk, ch. 8; Goorden et al., ch. 14), their goal is not that public visions should shape the direction of research but that experts should shape public visions of nanotechnology (Kennedy, ch. 1). – Eds.

Keywords

Public Perception Nanotechnology Application Public Vision Public Sentiment Chemical Disinfectant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven C. Currall
    • 1
  • Eden B. King
  • Neal Lane
  • Juan Madera
  • Stacy Turner
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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