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Nanotechnology, Synthetic Biology, & Public Opinion

By csep - Posted on 15 July 2010

TitleNanotechnology, Synthetic Biology, & Public Opinion
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2009
Corporate AuthorsHart Research Associates
Pagination18 p.
Date Published09/2009
PublisherWoodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Place PublishedWashington, D.C.
Publication LanguageEnglish

This poll, conducted from September 9-13, 2009, surveyed over a thousand individuals about their attitudes towards the entities in the oversight of new scientific and technological advances, awareness of nanotechnology, and awareness of and attitudes toward synthetic biology and its application to create synthetic biofuels. This survey focusing on nanomaterials has now been conducted for four years in a row, and for the last two years has included questions on synthetic biology. Two focus groups were also conducted, to help provide context for the results of the survey. The researchers found that over ninety percent of Americans feel that the public should be better informed about the development of cutting-edge technologies. The individuals surveyed were better informed about nanotechnology and synthetic biology than in previous years, and were divided over the potential risks versus the benefits of nanotechnology. A majority of individuals, however, fell on the side of risk outweighing the benefits in regard to synthetic biology. Despite this, the majority thought we should encourage the development of synthetic biofuels, despite concerns over synthetic biology.