Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature: SCMR effect simplifies the design of fundamental spintronic components August 20th, 2018

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Scientists turn to the quantum realm to improve energy transportation August 17th, 2018

Research brief: UMN researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria August 15th, 2018

Announcements

Energy-efficient spin current can be controlled by magnetic field and temperature: SCMR effect simplifies the design of fundamental spintronic components August 20th, 2018

Color effects from transparent 3D printed nanostructures: New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D print templates for user-given colors Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference August 18th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte: Milestone of energy efficiency in information technology -- Publication in Advanced Materials August 17th, 2018

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Nanoscience and the future of healthcare kick off first day of ACS national meeting in Boston: Presidential events highlight safety, diversity and groundbreaking research August 2nd, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways: High tech metal particles may inadvertently take a toll on aquatic life June 26th, 2018

NIOSH Releases New Nanotechnology Workplace Design Recommendations March 13th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project