Listen Up! The Need for Public Engagement in Nanoscale Science and Technology
Volume 5, Issue 4
Ethan E. Allen, University of Washington
Deborah R. Bassett, University of Washington
Nanoscale science and its derivative technologies ultimately depend on support from the broad public community. Yet the public remains largely unaware of nanotechnology, and this low level of awareness combined with unaddressed concerns about the field may lead to subsequent lack of support for its development and implementation. In order to optimize public support, both agencies that support nanoscale research and industries that incorporate nanoscale technologies in their products or processes must increase efforts to (1) learn about the public perceptions, concerns, and desires in nanoscale sciences and technologies, and (2) incorporate and address these perceptions and concerns while informing the public about these fields. Using action research methods in conjunction with public dialogs can advance both of these goals.
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