Home > News > Public Distrust of Science Made Cambridge the Biotech Capital of the World
July 7th, 2007
Public Distrust of Science Made Cambridge the Biotech Capital of the World
The specter of submitting their work to public examination can be scary to researchers in controversial fields like biotechnology and nanotechnology. They worry that scientific illiteracy and fearmongering will hijack any meaningful dialogue. But as the history of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows, involving the public can actually improve science.
Back in the 1970's, when scientists refined techniques of DNA manipulation, a lot of people worried that bench-altered bugs would escape labs and infect people. (It wasn't just the untrained public who feared this, but quite a few scientists, too.)
In Cambridge -- location of Harvard, MIT and other renowned research universities -- a national debate became local. Harvard proposed turning a nearby lab into a high-security facility for potentially dangerous research; Harvard faculty and members of the public declared their alarm, arguing that a decision that could affect the entire community deserved to be made by the community; and the city held public hearings.
International survey supports need for built-in water protection on smartphones and tablets May 21st, 2013
Rice unveils method for tailoring optical processors: Arranging nanoparticles in geometric patterns allows for control of light with light May 21st, 2013
Nanoparticle Harnesses Powerful Radiation Therapy for Cancer May 20th, 2013
Microneedle-Delivered Nanoparticles Boost Antitumor Vaccines May 20th, 2013
Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree: A nano end for Christmas tree needles January 2nd, 2013
INIC Inks MoU to Apply Nanotechnology in Iran's Carpet Industry December 18th, 2012
IBN Welcomes Its First 9-Year-Old ‘Scientist’: IBN and Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore Make Kidney Patient’s Dream Come True December 10th, 2012
The music of the silks: Researchers synthesize a new kind of silk fiber — and find that music can help fine-tune the material’s properties November 28th, 2012