PRESS RELEASE FROM NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY
This press release is copyrighted to Nature Nanotechnology.
 What drives public acceptance of nanotechnology?
The results of the first large-scale empirical study of how consumers view the risks and benefits of nanotechnology are reported in the December issue of Nature Nanotechnology. It is widely accepted in the nanotechnology community that better communication with decision-makers and consumers is essential if nanotechnology is not to become the “new GMO”.
Based on a telephone survey of 503 members of the public in the USA, Steven Currall and co-workers conclude that nanotechnology is viewed as relatively neutral, being perceived as less risky and more beneficial than a number of other technologies such as GMO, pesticides, chemical disinfectants and human genetic engineering. However, it is also seen as more risky and less beneficial than solar power, vaccinations, hydroelectric power and computer display screens.
In an additional web-based survey of 4542 likely consumers, Currall and co-workers also find that the public does not consider the risks and benefits of nanotechnology independently: rather, the effect of benefits on the likely use of a nano-based product is more pronounced when the risks are lower.
Steven Currall (University College London & London Business School, UK)
Tel: +44 771 099 8974; E-mail: [email protected]
The author is in the USA but their mobile should still be working.
Please note that a conference is being held at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC, USA on Tuesday December 5 2006 at 14.30 US EST.
Other papers from Nature Nanotechnology to be published online at the same time and with the same embargo:
 Controlled buckling of semiconductor nanoribbons for stretchable electronics
 Controlled patterning of aligned self-assembled peptide nanotubes
 Mesoscopic Josephson junctions employing Si/Ge heterostructure nanowires
Ruth Francis, Nature London
Tel: +44 20 7843 4562; E-mail [email protected]
Katherine Anderson, Nature London
Tel: +44 20 7843 4502; E-mail: [email protected]
For media inquiries relating to editorial content/policy for Nature Nanotechnology, please contact the journal directly:
Peter Rodgers, Nature Nanotechnology (London)
Tel: +44 20 7014 4019; Email: [email protected]
About Nature Publishing Group
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, dedicated to serving the academic, professional scientific and medical communities. NPG's flagship title, Nature, was first published in 1869. Other publications include Nature research journals, Nature Reviews, Nature Clinical Practice and a range of prestigious academic journals including society-owned publications. NPG also provides news content through [email protected] and scientific career information through Naturejobs.
NPG is a global company with headquarters in London and offices in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Tokyo, Paris, Munich, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Delhi, Mexico City and Basingstoke. For more information, please go to www.nature.com