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Information snapshots: What Google searches really tell us about emerging technologies


By csep - Posted on 09 May 2012

TitleInformation snapshots: What Google searches really tell us about emerging technologies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLiang, Xuan, Anderson Ashley A., Scheufele Dietram A., Brossard Dominique, and Xenos Michael A.
JournalNano Today
Volume7
Issue2
Pagination72 - 75
Date Published4/2012
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number17480132
KeywordsPublic Perception
Abstract

For most consumers, Google is the window to the (nano) world. At the very least, Google and other search engines are the place where many consumers get the first glimpse of emerging technologies. In order to explore the critical role that online media play as information gateways, we tracked Google search patterns related to nanotechnology over a 17-month period. Our data show that the snippets of websites highlighted in top Google search results present policy themes about nano more than themes about application or social implications. General searches for ‘‘nanotechnology’’ present a neutral tone, while ‘‘risk’’- related search results present a negative tone and ‘‘benefit’’-related searches present a positive tone. The majority of websites appearing in Google searches are non-nano specific sites (e.g., www.sciencedaily.com). We discuss the important implications of Google search results for
nanotechnology audiences.

DOI10.1016/j.nantod.2012.01.001
Short TitleNano Today