Predicting the Future: How Ordinary People Make Sense of Emerging Nanotechnologies

Priest, Susanna. Science, Technology and Society Initiative, UMass Amherst. (2007) Predicting the Future: How Ordinary People Make Sense of Emerging Nanotechnologies. In: Nanotechnology and Society: The Organization and Policy of Innovation, May 17, 2007, Amherst, MA. (Unpublished)

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This presentation will briefly review quantitative and qualitative data that suggest the general tenor of the current public opinion climate for nanotechnologies, and then identify the key factors that can be expected to affect how people cope with information about any new technology. These include their own underlying values, their levels of trust in key social actors, and the connections they identify with technologies previously encountered, as well as information from media accounts. Public conceptions of potential risks are often broader than those commonly identified in formal risk assessments, encompassing "social risks" such as disruption, displacement, privacy, distribution, regulation, and so on, as well as risks to human health and environmental integrity. While media are only one influence among many, they are regularly accused of exaggerating some risks while ignoring others. Progress toward developing a theory that might predict when and explain why this occurs will be reviewed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
InterNano Taxonomy: Social and Economic Impacts > Social Perspectives
Social and Economic Impacts
Collections: Science Technology and Society's Nanotechnology and Society Workshops
Depositing User: Michelle Sagan Goncalves
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2008 13:16
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2009 14:49

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