Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Elizabeth Corley, associate professor of public policy in ASUís 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 ASUís 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

New Biological Nano-Fertilizers Presented in Iran as Appropriate Replacements for Chemical Fertilizers April 18th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with MoS2 nano 'sandwich' April 18th, 2015

New Biological Nano-Fertilizers Presented in Iran as Appropriate Replacements for Chemical Fertilizers April 18th, 2015

Beyond the lithium ion -- a significant step toward a better performing battery April 18th, 2015

Oxford Instruments commissions high field outsert magnet system for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory 32†Tesla magnet program April 17th, 2015

Possible Futures

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill: By coupling photons to atoms, light in a glass fiber can be slowed down to the speed of an express train; for a short while it can even be brought to a complete stop April 9th, 2015

Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market is expected to reach $8.5 Billion by 2019 March 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology Enabled Drug Delivery to Influence Future Diagnosis and Treatments of Diseases March 21st, 2015

Nanocomposites Market Growth, Industry Outlook To 2020 by Grand View Research, Inc. March 21st, 2015

Announcements

New Biological Nano-Fertilizers Presented in Iran as Appropriate Replacements for Chemical Fertilizers April 18th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

MIPT researchers put safety of magic anti-cancer bullet to test April 6th, 2015

NNI Publishes Workshop Report Assessing the Status of EHS Risk Science: Report examines progress three years after the release of the 2011 NNI EHS Research Strategy March 23rd, 2015

Are current water treatment methods sufficient to remove harmful engineered nanoparticle? March 10th, 2015

More study needed to clarify impact of cellulose nanocrystals on health: Few studies explore toxicity of cellulose nanocrystals March 10th, 2015

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







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE