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Expert views on societal responses to different applications of nanotechnology: a comparative analysis of experts in countries with different economic and regulatory environments

Lookup NU author(s): Nidhi Gupta, Professor Lynn FrewerORCiD



The introduction of different applications of nanotechnology will be informed by expert views regarding which (types of) application will be most societally acceptable. Previous research in Northern Europe has indicated that experts believe that various factors will be influential, predominant among these being public perceptions of benefit, need and consumer concern about contact with nanomaterials. These factors are thought by experts to differentiate societal acceptance and rejection of nanotechnology applications. This research utilises a larger sample of experts (N = 67) drawn from Northern America, Europe, Australasia, India and Singapore to examine differences in expert opinion regarding societal acceptance of different applications of nanotechnology within different technological environments, consumer cultures and regulatory regimes. Perceived risk and consumer concerns regarding contact with nanoparticles are thought by all experts to drive rejection, and perceived benefits to influence acceptance, independent of country. Encapsulation and delivery of nutrients in food was thought to be the most likely to raise societal concerns, while targeted drug delivery was thought most likely to be accepted. Lack of differentiation between countries suggests that expert views regarding social acceptance may be homogenous, independent of local contextual factors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gupta N, Fischer ARH, George S, Frewer LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Nanoparticle Research

Year: 2013

Volume: 15

Issue: 8

Print publication date: 01/04/2013

Online publication date: 14/07/2013

Acceptance date: 03/07/2013

Date deposited: 29/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1388-0764

ISSN (electronic): 1572-896X

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11051-013-1838-4


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