Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Concern over communication of nanotechnology in Slovenia

Abstract:
The Slovenian government treats nanotechnology as a national research priority, but the topic is virtually non-existent in the national mass media, according to new research. This lack of information for the public means it is difficult for them to make decisions about the safety of products, the study argues.

Concern over communication of nanotechnology in Slovenia

Slovenia | Posted on June 18th, 2012

The mass media is one of the main routes through which scientific and technological information is communicated to the general public. Nanotechnology has been hailed as one of the most promising modern scientific developments, but with this promise comes a great deal of uncertainty and national newspapers are thought to be critical in shaping public perceptions of the potential risks versus benefits.

The new study explored how the emergence of nanotechnology was covered in the national media between 2004 and 2009 in Slovenia, one of the smallest new EU Member States. The researchers counted the number of articles published by three daily newspapers and recorded how each article was ‘framed', i.e. whether it focused on scientific, political, economic or ‘ELSI' (ethical, legal, social) aspects.

In general, science and technology is poorly represented in Slovenian media (accounting less than 5% of articles after 2008) and the researchers found that nanotechnology was no exception. Although the number of nanotechnology-related articles increased during the study period, the number remained extremely low, with an average of just 12 articles per year across all three newspapers.

The vast majority of the articles (91.8%) focused on the scientific implications of nanotechnology, 5.5% focused on the economic implications and 2.7 % on the political implications. Of the few articles, the potentially positive aspects of nanotechnology were highlighted more than the potentially negative aspects. None of the articles focused on social, ethical or legal aspects.

Although Slovenian scientists have contributed much to nanotechnology, the fact that the number and content of scientific articles in the Slovenian mass media is somewhat limited indicates that the communication of science in Slovenia lags behind much of Europe. According to the researchers, the fact that just 52% of Slovenians agree that nanotechnology should be encouraged, as revealed in a 2010 study, may indicate that the Slovenian public tend to view nanotechnology as a novelty, rather than the ‘strategic technology' that the European Commission identified it to be at the start of 2000. In other EU countries, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Germany, greater media coverage of the social consequences of science has been influential in engendering public awareness and acceptance of new technologies.

The researchers also carried out interviews with eight selected scientists in the field of nanotechnology. In general, the scientists agreed that the media are important in shaping public opinion and that, in turn, public opinion is important in shaping regulations for nanotechnology research. As a result, most of the scientists were dissatisfied with the level and quality of nanotechnology coverage in the national mass media and suggested that this could be improved by increasing journalists' understanding of science. As the study only conducted interviews with scientists, a valuable extension of the analysis could include the viewpoints of policymakers, NGOs, and industry partners.

The interviews confirmed the general conclusions from the media analysis about the need for more open engagement of the public with nanotechnology. Since many nanotechnology products are already on the market, this is important to allow the public to make informed decisions regarding potential effects on health and the environment. On a wider scale, public participation in key policy decisions is an important feature of democracy, say the researchers.

Source: Groboljsek, B. & Mali, F. (2012). Daily newspapers' views on nanotechnology in Slovenia. Science Communication. 34(1): 30-56. DOI: 10.1177/1075547011427974.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:

Copyright © Science for Environment Policy

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

Making nanowires from protein and DNA September 3rd, 2015

Making fuel from light: Argonne research sheds light on photosynthesis and creation of solar fuel September 3rd, 2015

Reversible Writing with Light: Self-assembling nanoparticles take their cues from their surroundings September 3rd, 2015

Phagraphene, a 'relative' of graphene, discovered September 2nd, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Making nanowires from protein and DNA September 3rd, 2015

Making fuel from light: Argonne research sheds light on photosynthesis and creation of solar fuel September 3rd, 2015

Reversible Writing with Light: Self-assembling nanoparticles take their cues from their surroundings September 3rd, 2015

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering with 3-D printers September 2nd, 2015

Announcements

Making nanowires from protein and DNA September 3rd, 2015

Making fuel from light: Argonne research sheds light on photosynthesis and creation of solar fuel September 3rd, 2015

Reversible Writing with Light: Self-assembling nanoparticles take their cues from their surroundings September 3rd, 2015

A marine creature's magic trick explained: Crystal structures on the sea sapphire's back appear differently depending on the angle of reflection September 2nd, 2015

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Sustainable nanotechnology center September 1st, 2015

$200K Awarded to Develop In Vitro Lung Test for Toxicity of Inhaled Nanomaterials: In Vitro Lung Test Designed to Protect Human Health and Replace Animal Testing September 1st, 2015

Warning to DIY enthusiasts & construction workers as dangerous dust emissions August 19th, 2015

Bionic liver micro-organs explain off-target toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol): Israeli-German partnership aims to replace animal experiments with advanced liver-on-chip devices August 17th, 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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic