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Nanotoxicology and risk perception among public and elite groups

Harthorn, Barbara Herr, Satterfield, Terre and Pidgeon, Nick ORCID: 2021. Nanotoxicology and risk perception among public and elite groups. Lead, Jamie R., Doak, Shareen H. and Clift, Martin J. D., eds. Nanotoxicology in Humans and the Environment, Molecular and Integrative Toxicology, Springer, Cham, pp. 193-228. (10.1007/978-3-030-79808-6_7)

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In this chapter, we provide an overview of an unprecedented body of new knowledge about the emergence of perceived risks and benefits of nanotechnologies and selected other new technologies through a set of linked studies. The chapter highlights the results of over a decade of mixed methods social science research at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California at Santa Barbara with reference to other key publications in the field. The chapter reviews research on: views, perceptions, values, and attitudes and social action among multiple stakeholders in the nanotechnology enterprise; development and refinement of innovative methods for public engagement with new technologies in the US and comparative other nations; experts’ risk knowledge and views on regulatory preparedness for safe handling of novel nanomaterials’ properties; and print and social media and policy attention focused on nanotech risks and benefits, particularly with reference to emergent public perceptions, risk amplification, or attenuation. In addition, the chapter details modes of dissemination of such societal knowledge to an array of critical stakeholders, including scientists and engineers developing these new materials and their enabled systems and products, nanotoxicologists who have been assessing the environmental and health risks presented by such novel materials, the international nanomaterials industry, policymakers/regulators, journalists, the diverse US public, and NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs). Taken together, the portfolio of new knowledge produced, the methodological advancement evident in its production, and the transfer of knowledge accomplished through engagement with diverse multi-stakeholders are argued to constitute an unprecedented advancement of socio-technical integration. The research process has also generated for the first time a robust international community of socio-technical scholars and experts with the skills and experience to advance societal benefits and ethical governance of emerging technologies.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer, Cham
ISBN: 9783030798079
ISSN: 2168-4219
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:31

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