Why Do We Need to Know What the Public Thinks About Nanotechnology?
Vol. 3, Num. 2
Cormick looks at a three-year study of the attitudes of the public in relation to nanotechnology to determine such important factors as not just their initial reaction but the changes over time, drivers of attitude change, different attitudes to different applications and be supported by qualitative data. Cormick believes that, while public opinion on something so impactful to their everday lives as nanotechnology is indispensable, simple polling or focus groups do not get at the whole story, and leave nanotechnology with an incomplete picture or, worse, a false positive. Through looking at a number of studies as well as the one by the Australian Office of Nanotechnology on which he concentrates, Cormick is able to demonstrate how two-way engagement is better able to not just involve but educate the public, leading to better feedback for scientists and, significantly, often more positive feedback from a better-educated public.