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Public attitudes towards nanotechnology in Europe and the United States


By csep - Posted on 25 August 2010

TitlePublic attitudes towards nanotechnology in Europe and the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsGaskell, George, Eyck Toby Ten, Jackson Jonathan, and Veltri Guiseppe
JournalNature Materials
Volume3
Issue8
Pagination496
Date PublishedAugust 2004
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Type of ArticleMagazine Article
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number1476-1122
Abstract

This article briefly summarizes the results of two surveys done in the United States and Europe on public attitudes towards nanotechnology. While about 50% of Americans replied "yes" nanotechnology will improve our way of life and only 35% responded "don't know, in Europe, only 29% said "yes" and 53% replied "don't know." The authors analyzed the results, and concluded that in the U.S. a culture of technological optimism is likely to help keep controversy about nanotechnology to a minimum, but in Europe, things are more uncertain. If nanotechnology is seen as an extension of the life sciences and generally beneficial, like biomedicine, there will likely be little controversy. If nanotechnology becomes mainly associated with risks, as GM foods were, then problems will likely arise.

DOI10.1038/nmat1181