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Students’ Risk Perceptions of Nanotechnology Applications: Implications for science education


By csep - Posted on 09 May 2012

TitleStudents’ Risk Perceptions of Nanotechnology Applications: Implications for science education
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGardner, Grant, Jones Gail, Taylor Amy, Forrester Jennifer, and Robertson Laura
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume32
Issue14
Pagination1951 - 1969
Date Published09/2010
ISSN Number1464-5289
KeywordsEducation, Public Perception
Abstract

Scientific literacy as a goal of a science education reform remains an important discourse in the research literature and is a key component of students' understanding and acceptance of emergent technologies like nanotechnology. This manuscript focuses on undergraduate engineering students' perceptions of the risks and benefits posed by nanotechnology as an important component of scientific literacy. Specifically, this study examined the perceived risk of nanotechnology of a group of American students (N = 102) in three material science engineering courses focusing on nanotechnology. Students completed a survey of risk perception and a sub-sample were interviewed (n = 21). It was found that perceptions of risks and benefits of nanotechnology tended to be closely tied to specific groups of applications including common consumer products, health-related products, and advanced technological applications. The intersection of scientific application and perception is discussed in the context of science education curriculum considerations.

DOI10.1080/09500690903331035
Short TitleInternational Journal of Science Education