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Tuesday, 17 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Nanotechnology

What do people know about nanotechnology?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Study suggests that the U.S. public is still rather unfamiliar with nanotechnology. Those who have some knowledge mainly have received it from TV and the internet.

Knowledge about nanotechnology is in the focus of a new study

Source: Sheng Yaw Lim - Fotolia.com

Knowledge about nanotechnology is in the focus of a new study

Source: Sheng Yaw Lim - Fotolia.com

In a new article in the "Journal of Nanoparticle Research” (Vol. 13, No. 12),  data is reported from an online questionnaire study with 587 respondents, representative for the adult U.S. population in terms of age, gender, and level of education. The aim of this study was to assess how interest in science and knowledge as well as beliefs about science are associated with risk and benefit perceptions of nanotechnology. The findings suggest that the U.S. public is still rather unfamiliar with nanotechnology. Those who have some knowledge mainly have received it from TV and the internet. The content of current media reports is perceived as fairly positive. Knowledge of scientific methods is unrelated to benefit and risk perceptions, at least when other predictors are controlled. In contrast, positive beliefs about science and more sophisticated epistemological beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge are moderately linked to more positive perceptions of nanotechnology. The only exception is the perception of scientific uncertainty: This is associated with less positive evaluations. Finally, higher engagement with science is associated with higher risk perceptions.

See here for more information on the study

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