New research on public attitudes by U. Wisconsin journalism prof Dietram Scheufele:
“Scheufele worked with Cornell University associate professor Bruce Lewenstein on the survey, the results of which will be published in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research and Science Communication.
“The survey showed that about 25 percent of respondents reported never having heard of the issue, even if it was explained to them by the interviewer, and only 16 percent felt at least “somewhat informed” about nanotechnology.
“Survey results also showed that there were significant differences between those who were aware of nanotechnology and those who were not.
“For instance, 59 percent of those who indicated they were aware of nanotechnology expressed overall support of the emerging technology, compared to 28 percent support among those who were not aware.
“The survey also revealed that those who were aware of the technology had a much more optimistic view of the potential positive effects of nanotechnology.
“Two-thirds to three-quarters of respondents who were aware of the issue agreed that nanotechnology has potential benefits in health and medicine, national defense and environmental policy, while only about half of the respondents who were unaware shared this perspective.”