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:2/14/2017)... , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake Forest Baptist ... as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Freischlag joins ... John D. McConnell , M.D., who last year ... at the Medical Center, after leading it since 2008. ... full scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic health system, ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... an individual,s voice to match it against a ... voice such as pitch, cadence, and tone are ... systems require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs ... remotely for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... Minn. , Feb. 7, 2017   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... iMedNet , its innovative, highly flexible and award ... iMedNet customers. iMedNet is a proven ... provides Electronic Data Capture (EDC), but also delivers an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... ... Chef Jodi Abel has returned from her three-week tour through the ... a number of delicious recipes and new techniques to share with her Lajollacooks4u guests. ... province. It is internationally renowned for its incredible wine farms, beautiful environment, boutiques ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 24, 2017  Aethlon ... the following note authored by its Chairman and CEO, ... address at the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, ... engineered virus could kill more people than nuclear weapons. ... by U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies, that scientific terrorists ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017  Driven by consumers, preference towards ... the fastest growing categories, finds the recently published ... Personal Care: Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities ... firm Kline. "Biotechnology actives are derived ... more effective for skin and hair care applications," ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... FireflySci, Inc is an explosive small business that continues to grow ... bringing their powerful cuvette and spectrophotometer calibration to the spectroscopy world. ... on as they add yet another mark on the global map. , With distributors ...
Breaking Biology Technology: