Australians show big support for nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) Australians are increasingly positive about nanotechnology, in particular its potential to improve our lives, according to a study "Australian Community Attitudes Held about Nanotechnology - Trends 2005-2011" by independent company Market Attitude Research Services.
Releasing the findings of a study of public attitudes towards nanotechnologies, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the Gillard Labor Government was working with researchers and industry to ensure the benefits of nanotechnology were realised, while ensuring any risks were identified and managed.
"This study is the fifth conducted since 2005 and in that time we have found the understanding of nanotechnology is increasing," Senator Carr said.
"Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed said they were aware of nanotechnology, compared to 51 per cent in 2005.
"When we looked at understanding the technology, we saw a large increase. Eighteen per cent of those surveyed said they knew in detail what nanotechnology was and how it worked, compared to only four per cent in 2005.
"After considering specific benefits and risks, such as those relating to human health and safety or the environment, respondents actually became more excited or hopeful about the technology, increasing their level of support from 84 per cent to 93 per cent."
Improved medical treatments and preventions attracted the highest levels of support (90 per cent) followed by improved technologies for the environment (87 per cent).
The survey involved a telephone poll of 1,100 randomly selected Australians, supported by five focus groups.
Source: Australian Government