The changing information environment for nanotechnology: online audiences and content
Anderson, Ashley A
Journal of Nanoparticle Research
Vol. 12, Num. 4
This article deals with the way people search the Internet for nanotechnology information, as well as who those searchers are and what specific applications of nanotechnology are most sought-after. Using an analysis of self-reported data as well as keyword searches and behavioral tracking data, the authors were able to draw conclusions about people who searched for nanotechnology on the web: they were primarily male, white Westerners, the more educated of these depending on news websites for their information on science. The highest portion of non-white searchers were those who used the Internet as their primary source of information. Women were a substantial presence but were slightly less likely to search out nanotechnology news than men. In the end, nanotechnology still ranks low on the list of scientific searches on the web, with health and general interest issues being the most prominent topics, but the wealth of information available and the obvious interest at some level may hold the key to public perceptions of nanotechnology, should anyone ever come to terms with exactly what is researched most and why.