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

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.


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

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