Navigation Links
Survey: Hiding risks can hurt public support for nanotechnology
Date:5/4/2010

A new national survey on public attitudes toward medical applications and physical enhancements that rely on nanotechnology shows that support for the technology increases when the public is informed of the technology's risks as well as its benefits at least among those people who have heard of nanotechnology. The survey, which was conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University and Arizona State University (ASU), also found that discussing risks decreased support among those people who had never previously heard of nanotechnology but not by much.

"The survey suggests that researchers, industries and policymakers should not be afraid to display the risks as well as the benefits of nanotechnology," says Dr. Michael Cobb, an associate professor of political science at NC State who conducted the survey. "We found that when people know something about nanotechnologies for human enhancement, they are more supportive of it when they are presented with balanced information about its risks and benefits."

The survey was conducted by Cobb in collaboration with Drs. Clark Miller and Sean Hays of ASU, and was funded by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU.

However, talking about risks did not boost support among all segments of the population. Those who had never heard of nanotechnology prior to the survey were slightly less supportive when told of its potential risks.

In addition to asking participants how much they supported the use of nanotechnology for human enhancements, they were also asked how beneficial and risky they thought these technologies would be, whether they were worried about not getting access to them, and who should pay for them health insurance companies or individuals paying out-of-pocket. The potential enhancements addressed in the survey run the gamut from advanced cancer treatments to bionic limbs designed to impart greater physical strength.

One segment of participants was shown an image of an unrealistic illustration meant to represent a nanoscale medical device. A second segment was shown the image and given a "therapeutic" framing statement that described the technology as being able to restore an ill person to full health. A third segment was given the image, along with an "enhancement" framing statement that described the technology as being able to make humans faster, stronger and smarter. Two additional segments were given the image, the framing statements and information about potential health risks. And a final segment of participants was not given the image, a framing statement or risk information.

The survey found that describing the technology as therapeutic resulted in much greater public support for the technology, as well as a greater perception of its potential benefits. The therapeutic frame also resulted in increased support for health insurance coverage of nanotech treatments once they become available, and increased concerns that people wouldn't be able to afford such treatments without insurance coverage.

"These findings suggest that researchers, policymakers and industries would be well advised to focus their research efforts on developing therapeutic technologies, rather than enhancements, because that is the area with the greatest public support," Cobb says.

The use of the nanotech image did not have a significant overall impact on participants' support, but did alarm people who were not previously familiar with nanotechnology making them less likely to support it.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Survey: Toyota owners maintain high overall satisfaction despite recalls
2. Survey: Over 40 Percent of Nurses to Alter Career Path
3. Depression Survey: Implications for Diverse Communities
4. Depression Survey: Implications for Diverse Communities
5. Thomson Reuters Survey: Most Americans Support Public Option in Healthcare Reform Legislation but Are Skeptical Healthcare Will Improve in 2010
6. Smoking While Pregnant May Raise Psychiatric Risks in Kids
7. Radiation Risks Nearly Double for Younger CT Scan Patients
8. Kids Raised by Relatives Face Increased Health Risks
9. Genome Scan Gives Man Insight Into Future Health Risks
10. Breast Cancer Risks Not Same for Hispanic Women
11. Weight-Loss Surgery May Ease Childbirth Risks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... Groth Family Insurance, a ... Richland, is initiating a charity drive to support the family of Cindy Hendrickson, ... collision. , On October 29th of this year, Cindy Hendrickson swerved to ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... Sober College, the ... the grand opening of the Sober College Robert Pfeifer Memorial Learning Center at ... 2-3, and was attended by an overwhelming amount of alumni, family, colleagues and ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... ... "I had a terrible time trying to get my grandson to use his ... had a more child-friendly design, then children would be more likely to look forward ... avoid the need to deliver medication via a nebulizer mask. The design will not ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Russ ... announced the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer organizations during ... franchise-wide Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased with the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... With the increasing demand for ... In Your Mouth?” (WIYM) campaign to inform dentists and patients about the safety issues ... implant and prosthetic market in the U.S. is projected to reach $6.4 billion in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) has been recognized by ... Workplaces National Standard. To learn more about Diplomat,s ... ... ... administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a research firm specializing in organizational health ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Connecticut , 8 de dezembro de 2016  A Mederi Therapeutics ... terapia Stretta, um tratamento não cirúrgico para a doença do refluxo gastroesofágico (DRGE). ... ... Live Stretta procedure performed and ... of Endoscopy at Wuhan Union Hospital ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Pa. , Dec. 8, 2016  A new ... reports that the use of opioid therapy to treat ... increase the likelihood of more harmful consequences, including death. ... , M.D., and Zankhana Mehta , M.D., authored ... research on chronic opioid therapy. The study was published ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: