Sunday, December 7, 2008

What Nano We Know

Nanotechnolgy is cool stuff. Small, tiny stuff, but cool. A report on a study about what people know about nanotechnology suggests it's not just random but in part a function of religion. According to the report:
In the United States and a few European countries where religion plays a larger role in everyday life, notably Italy, Austria and Ireland, nanotechnology and its potential to alter living organisms or even inspire synthetic life is perceived as less morally acceptable. In more secular European societies, such as those in France and Germany, individuals are much less likely to view nanotechnology through the prism of religion and find it ethically suspect.

Interesting -- the U.S. public's knowledge about nanotechnology remains largely unchanged. The lead researcher blames a lack of news media interest. I'd add also no sexy, interesting, or fiction-based events from the nano world. No Harry Potter meets Nano, no Dolly-Nano cloning event, nothing that would suddenly deserve news media interest. The press doesn't suddenly pay attention to you just because you want it to. Gotta be a reason -- good, or bad.

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