Navigation Links
Study shows increased education on nanotech, human enhancement increases public concerns
Date:7/16/2008

Educating the public about nanotechnology and other complex but emerging technologies causes people to become more "worried and cautious" about the new technologies' prospective benefits, according to a recent study by researchers at North Carolina State University.

A new study by researchers at North Carolina State University on public attitudes towards nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies shows that educating people about the new technologies results in those people becoming more concerned about the potential impact of the technologies.

The researchers, Dr. Michael D. Cobb, assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Patrick Hamlett, associate professor of science, technology and society and political science, gave questionnaires to study participants around the country to determine their position on emerging technologies with "human enhancement" applications such as using nanotechnology to improve therapies for injuries and degenerative diseases. Nanotechnology is generally defined as technology that uses substances having a size of 100 nanometers or less (thousands of times thinner than a human hair), and is expected to have widespread uses in medicine, consumer products and industrial processes.

Cobb and Hamlett then put the participants through a deliberative forum in March 2008 that provided structured discussions and educational background on the technologies. The participants were then asked to fill out the same questionnaire they had been given before the deliberative forum and asked to provide policy recommendations on how to handle the emerging science.

In a recent presentation to the 10th Conference on Public Communication of Science, in Malmo, Sweden, Cobb noted that, compared to their pre-deliberation opinions, panelists "became more worried and cautious about the prospective benefits" of the human enhancement technologies. Prior to the deliberation, 82 percent of the participants were at least somewhat certain that the benefits of the technologies outweighed the risks but that number dropped to 66 percent after the deliberation.

Cobb and Hamlett conducted the study, called the 2008 National Citizens' Forum on Human Enhancement, under a subcontract from the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University. The study was conducted at sites in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

Cobb says the study is also important because it shows that deliberative forums are a viable tool for encouraging informed public engagement in the development of governmental policies. This is significant because there have been questions in the past about whether "ordinary citizens" are able to engage in useful deliberation or whether collective opinions developed during group deliberation are worse than if the deliberation had never taken place.

The driver for the study was to develop a format for informed interaction about the trajectories of science and technology policies as those policies are being developed, Cobb says, so that the public's concerns are incorporated into the policy development process.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-3470
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study: Future snowmelt in West twice as early as expected; threatens ecosystems and water reserves
2. UCLA study identifies mechanism behind mind-body connection
3. Y chromosome study sheds light on Athapaskan migration to southwest US
4. UCSB researcher leads worldwide study on marine fossil diversity
5. Glenn Foundation for Medical Research commits $5 million to study aging
6. U-M study: Herceptin targets breast cancer stem cells
7. Iowa State researchers study ground cover to reduce impact of biomass harvest
8. New study finds that some plants can adapt to widespread climate change
9. Deep sequencing study reveals new insights into human transcriptome
10. Scientists integrate data in three dimensions to study climate effects on young fish
11. Birds migrate together at night in dispersed flocks, new study indicates
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and ... furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer ... guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market for stem ... 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The rise ... growth of the stem cell market. Download ... The global stem cell market is segmented on the ... cell market of the product is segmented into adult ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Any expert in stem cell research or stem cell medicine ... half a century. Despite their essential roles in human health and regenerative medicine, ... tags developed for this purpose also tag other, more abundant, non-stem tissue cells ( ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... production and is threatened by various biotic and abiotic factors. During this educational ... evolutionary history of coffee, as well as gain a better understanding of how ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the release of ... SYZYGY is intended to satisfy the need for a compact, low cost, low ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... ... ... A staple in the community for more than 60 years, Bill Miller ... a new digital marketing strategy and updated logo. , As part of the initiative ... the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center for the month of August. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: