, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 61-72
Date: 08 Jan 2009

Representations of Nanotechnology in Norwegian Newspapers — Implications for Public Participation

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Abstract

Public participation is a prominent issue in the nanoethics literature. This paper analyses the emerging awareness of nanoscience and nanotechnology (nano S&T) in the Norwegian public sphere, as evidenced by newspaper coverage. In particular, attention is on representations of nano S&T and their relation to public participation. Three dominant representations are found; nano S&T as positive, nano S&T as important for the future and nano S&T as under control. It is argued that the prominence of these representations is unfortunate because they can discourage public participation. The paper concludes by pointing to some broader questions about public participation as an instrument for governance of nano S&T.