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When it pays to ask the public

By csep - Posted on 25 August 2010

TitleWhen it pays to ask the public
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJones, Richard
MagazineNature Nanotechnology
Date PublishedOctober 2008
PublisherNature Publishing
Type of ArticleMagazine article
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number1748-3387

A series of public dialogues held in the United Kingdom by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the public's view on nanomedicine found that individuals who participated in the talks had a clear view of what types of research they believed should be funded. Medicine and health care were regarded as a high priority for the application of nanotechnology, but there was also a strong preference for technologies that empower people to have more control over their own health and lives, rather then technologies that were perceived as reducing autonomy. Of the six different areas that were proposed for the funding of nanotechnology in medicine, its use for prevention and early diagnosis of disease, and for better-targeted drug delivery were seen as the highest priority areas. The participants in the dialogues had the greatest misgivings about "theranostics" the idea of combining diagnosis and therapy in a single, automatic device, which many perceived as potentially disempowering.