Original Paper


, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 61-72

First online:

Representations of Nanotechnology in Norwegian Newspapers — Implications for Public Participation

  • Kamilla Lein KjølbergAffiliated withCentre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen Email author 

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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.


Media Nanotechnology Norway Public participation Upstream public engagement