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Poll reveals public awareness of nanotech stuck at low level
Date:9/24/2007

WASHINGTON, DC -- National survey findings released today indicate that Americans awareness of nanotechnology remains low. Popular awareness is nearly as small as the tiny nanoscale materials and nano-enabled devices and products now flowing onto the market from this rapidly progressing technology that experts believe will usher in a new industrial revolution.

The poll also finds that most Americans continue to prefer that government, not industry, oversee and manage risks associated with advances in new areas of science and technology like nanotech, even though public confidence in U.S. regulatory agencies overall is declining.

The poll, a follow up to a similar poll conducted last year, surveyed 1,014 U.S. adults by telephone on August 27-28. It, as well as the prior poll, was commissioned by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (www.nanotechproject.org) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and conducted by independent research firm Peter D. Hart Research.

Even with an estimated $50 billion worth of nanotechnology manufactured goods on the global market last year, only 6 percent of Americans or fewer than one in 16 say they have heard a lot about nanotechnology, as compared with 10 percent in 2006. In 2007, 21 percent say they have heard some about nanotechnology, unchanged from the previous year. Similarly, as in 2006, about 70 percent of adults say they have heard just a little or nothing at all.

Women of all ages, older Americans, and individuals with less education and lower incomes are least likely to have heard about nanotechnology.

Even though the number of nanotechnology-enabled consumer products from dietary supplements to skin products to electronic devices has more than doubled to over 500 products since last year (www.nanotechproject.org/consumerproducts), the needle on public awareness of nanotechology remains stuck at disappo
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Contact: Sharon McCarter
sharon.mccarter@wilsoncenter.org
202-691-4016
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Source:Eurekalert

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