Informed Public Perceptions of Nanotechnology and Trust in Government

Informed Public Perceptions of Nanotechnology and Trust in Government

When it comes to technology, little things can make a big difference. There are an estimated seven hundred products on the market today that use nanotechnology or nanomaterials, and the market for such products and services is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2015, according to a new study from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a two-year initiative formed in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts. Based on a recent survey of private citizens in Cleveland, Dallas, and Spokane, the study, Informed Public Perceptions of Nanotechnology and Trust in Government (31 pages, PDF), notes that while Americans welcome the medical breakthroughs, new sources of energy, and life-enhancing applications promised by nanotech, they are also concerned about possible long-term health and environmental consequences of the technology, and want assurances that government and industry will be able to manage the risks associated with it.