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« Star Wars Redux | Main | Questioning »

February 16, 2008

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James

Ashamed to be American much? I'd like to question the study results, but casual observation of my neighbors supports the study data. :)

I wonder what percentage of respondents would actually relinquish all the tech they use that doesn't "occur in nature". My guess is, not many of them. Ignorant hypocrites.

stephen c

ha. i actually came over to voice my shame and dismay with this study. can it be true that less than a third of people are okay with nanotech development? what is going on with this country?

hawkeye72

yeah, giggle & chortle away. It is again an article about ignorant Americans as opposed to the enlightened Europeans. What is the "absolute" definition of morality?
Ok, so since there isn't one let's go immediately to the subjective opinion of the study operator. They must be a good, fair and reasonable arbitor without an stake on the game.
There could be many potential reasons why one might answer that this line of research could be immoral. An instinctive distrust for large institutions and especially larger government differ greatly between old Europe and the US. I'd also throw out diminished confidence in scientists as selfless and ethical in light of recent news and also their willingness to pick sides publicly on political debates and thus become political themseles; agenda driven rather than seekers of truth.

Some of this goes back to a core belief system, but I fear science may again be trying to blame religion here rather than taking this feedback and considering how they might review themselves. Any personal accountability here? ... Maybe??

Josh

I'm still amazed though that the European countries didn't have 90-100% acceptance of nanotechnology. It indicates a significant camp of people with reservations, and I fear that one minor nanotech incident could easily see that camp grow to a majority, causing similar moratoriums to those which outlawed GM crops in European countries.

Tom Craver

Only thing I can figure is that people associate nanotechnology with "technology out of control" - gray goo, terminator robots, maybe also immortality and singularity. I could see religious people, greens, and simply "concerned citizens" feeling that those things are representative of nanotechnology, and therefore nanotech is immoral.

It doesn't bode well for nanotechnology avoiding the "Frankenfoods" fate - emotional appeals substituting for any rational objective analysis of real risks and how to appropriately deal with them.

John B

I'm a little confused on this survey. As always, the devil's in the details with surveys (or statistics), and no details on the questions asked, the order they were asked, or even if this was telephone versus face-to-face polling. *shrug* The author of the study claims that it's accurate within 3% at his website http://nanopublic.blogspot.com/ but his methodology is not expressed.

I'd also note that this gentleman appears to have some relatively high profile linkages in academia & politics from his CV.

Dunno. Would love to learn more about this, but suspect it's unavailable. If anyone comes across the data as available, I'd be quite curious to see it.

-John

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