Public trusts nanoscientists more than nanoregulators

In a study by Edna Einsiedel of University of Calgary, it was found that the U.S. and Canadian publics trust nanoscientists much more than they do those in charge of nanotech regulation. About a quarter of those responding claimed to have discussed nanotechnology previously.

Over 70% agreed that “Nanotechnology will be one of the most important sources of health treatments and cures in the 21st century” and over 80% agreed that “NT research represents the next frontier of human endeavor and will lead to significant quality of life.”

More Americans said “I approve the use of NT as long as the usual levels of government regulation and control are in place” while more Canadians said “I approve of NT as long as it is more tightly controlled and regulated.”

From the conclusions: “That Canadians and Americans are generally optimistic about technology in general and about nanotechnology in particular is evident from these results. At the same time, there are differences between publics in both countries, with Americans generally more inclined to project more benefits and fewer risks and to see the technology as being more morally acceptable than questionable.” Those optimistic Americans! —Christine

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