, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 183-189
Date: 23 Sep 2006

Nanotechnology and the public: Effectively communicating nanoscale science and engineering concepts

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Abstract

Researchers are faced with challenges when addressing the public on concepts and applications associated with nanotechnology. The goal of our work was to understand the public’s knowledge of nanotechnology in order to identify appropriate starting points for dialog. Survey results showed that people lack true understanding of concepts associated with atoms and the size of the nanoscale regime. Such gaps in understanding lead to a disappointing lack of communication between researchers and the public concerning fundamental concepts in nanoscale science and engineering. Strategies are offered on how scientists should present their research when engaging the public on nanotechnology topics.

Since the time of writing, O.M. Castellini has relocated to the Department of Science and Technology, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.