Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Scientists and public differ on views about nanotechnology regulation

Elizabeth Corley, associate professor of public policy in ASU’s School of Public Affairs at the College of Public Programs in Downtown Phoenix. Photo: Felipe Ruiz-Acosta
Elizabeth Corley, associate professor of public policy in ASU’s School of Public Affairs at the College of Public Programs in Downtown Phoenix. Photo: Felipe Ruiz-Acosta

Abstract:
In the growing debate over regulating nanotechnology - a burgeoning global industry with wide-ranging potential applications - a new study by Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison reveals that the views of U.S. nanoscientists differ from those of the general public.

Scientists and public differ on views about nanotechnology regulation

Phoenix, AZ | Posted on June 22nd, 2009

Nanotechnology involves controlling matter of an atomic and molecular size to develop devices of an incredibly small scale, usually 100 nanometers or smaller (tiny enough to fit through a surgical mask). The technology is becoming more pervasive, with more than a thousand products ranging from more efficient solar panels and scratch-resistant automobile paint, to souped-up golf clubs already on the market.

Global revenues from products using nanotechnology are estimated to reach $2.8 trillion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc.

As reported in the online version of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research, researchers found that the public tends to focus on the benefits - rather than potential environmental and health risks - when making decisions about nanotechnology regulation, whereas scientists mainly focus on potential risks and economic values.

"We think that nanoscientists view regulations as protections for the public, and that's part of the reason why they focus on the potential risks. On the other hand, the public seems to think of nanotechnology regulations as restricting their access to new products and other beneficial aspects of nanotechnology," says Elizabeth Corley, Lincoln Professor of Public Policy, Ethics and Emerging Technologies in Arizona State University's School of Public Affairs, and co-author of the study.

According to the study, leading U.S. scientists in nanotechnology believe regulations are most urgently needed in the areas of surveillance and privacy, human enhancement, medicine and the environment. At the same time, this group feels that other areas, including machines and computers, have little need for further regulation.

Decision-makers often rely on the input of scientists when setting policies on nanotechnology because of the high degree of scientific uncertainty - and the lack of data - about its risks, Corley says.

"This difference in the way nanoscientists and the public think about regulations is important for policymakers (to take into consideration) if they are planning to include both groups in the policymaking process for nanotechnology," says Corley.

The study also reveals an interesting divide within the group of nanoscientists. Economically conservative scientists were less likely to support regulations, while economically liberal scientists were more likely to do so.

"This says less about scientists than it does about the lack of conclusive data about risks related to nanotechnology," concludes Dietram Scheufele, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and co-author of the study. "Policymakers need to realize that when they ask scientists to give them advice about inconclusive findings, they will get both their professional judgment and their personal views."

Data for the study came from survey questionnaires filled out by 363 of the most highly cited and most active U.S.-affiliated scientists in the nanotechnology field. The survey, conducted between May and June of 2007, was administered by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. It was the first nationally representative study of nanoscientists.

####

About Arizona State University

The School of Public Affairs is part of the ASU College of Public Programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus. The College embraces students and faculty dedicated to rigorous education and research in the service of social and economic change. Academic units within the College include the Schools of Community Resources and Development; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Public Affairs; and Social Work. Areas of expertise include: improving the quality of life for individuals and families from all backgrounds; innovative approaches to public management; and nonprofit leadership and organizational effectiveness.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
SOURCE:
Elizabeth Corley
Lincoln Professor of Public Policy
Ethics & Emerging Technologies
Associate Professor of Public Policy
ASU School of Public Affairs
(602) 496-0462


MEDIA CONTACT:
Corey Schubert
Manager of Media Communications
ASU College of Public Programs
602.496.0406 office
602.370.6128 cell

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Soitec Enter Into Long-term Supply Agreement on FD-SOI Wafers: Strategic milestone to help guarantee a secure, high-volume supply of FD-SOI technology September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of mmWave and RF/Analog on Leading FDX™ FD-SOI Technology Platform: Technology solution delivers ‘connected intelligence’ to next generation high-volume wireless and IoT applications with lower power and significantly reduced cost September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of Embedded MRAM on Leading 22FDX® FD-SOI Platform: Advanced embedded non-volatile memory solution delivers ‘connected intelligence’ by expanding SoC capabilities on the 22nm process node September 20th, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Magnetic cellular 'Legos' for the regenerative medicine of the future September 12th, 2017

Possible Futures

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of mmWave and RF/Analog on Leading FDX™ FD-SOI Technology Platform: Technology solution delivers ‘connected intelligence’ to next generation high-volume wireless and IoT applications with lower power and significantly reduced cost September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of Embedded MRAM on Leading 22FDX® FD-SOI Platform: Advanced embedded non-volatile memory solution delivers ‘connected intelligence’ by expanding SoC capabilities on the 22nm process node September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Unveils Vision and Roadmap for Next-Generation 5G Applications: Technology platforms are uniquely positioned to enable a new era of ‘connected intelligence’ with the transition to 5G September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Delivers Custom 14nm FinFET Technology for IBM Systems: Jointly developed 14HP process is world’s only technology that leverages both FinFET and SOI September 20th, 2017

Announcements

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Delivers 8SW RF SOI Technology for Next-Generation Mobile and 5G Applications: Advanced 8SW 300mm SOI technology enables cost-effective, high-performance RF front-end modules for 4G LTE mobile and sub-6GHz 5G applications September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Unveils Vision and Roadmap for Next-Generation 5G Applications: Technology platforms are uniquely positioned to enable a new era of ‘connected intelligence’ with the transition to 5G September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Delivers Custom 14nm FinFET Technology for IBM Systems: Jointly developed 14HP process is world’s only technology that leverages both FinFET and SOI September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Introduces New 12nm FinFET Technology for High-Performance Applications September 20th, 2017

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair? September 16th, 2017

Tests show no nanotubes released during utilisation of nanoaugmented materials June 9th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

NIST updates 'sweet' 1950s separation method to clean nanoparticles from organisms January 27th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project