Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Nanotechnology and Society: New Insights into Public Perceptions

Currall, Steven C.

Journal Information:
Nature Nanotechnology
Vol. 4, Num. 2


Currall provides an overview of the three articles in this issue that deal with public perception of nanotechnology. Looking at Dan Kahans article, he notes that greater familiarity with nanotechnology does not automatically lead to more positive attitudes, but rather to a polarization of positive or negative views. In Dietram Scheufeles piece, Currall sees that religion has provided a framework through which certain people interpret nanotechnology, and that these values lead them to make judgments accordingly. He then finds Nick Pidgeons article to suggest that individual questions and concerns about nanotechnology, more than just the overall impression of the field, are important signifiers of public opinion and understanding. Currall finds this information useful in that the public reaction to nanotechnology and its pursuits, once understood by scientists through the work of social scientists like these, can be better predicted and can lead to research that will more closely follow the desires of the public.