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Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 465–483 | Cite as

Comparing mental models of prospective users of the sustainable nanotechnology decision support system

  • Ineke Malsch
  • Vrishali Subramanian
  • Elena Semenzin
  • Alex Zabeo
  • Danail Hristozov
  • Martin Mullins
  • Finbarr Murphy
  • Igor Linkov
  • Antonio Marcomini
Article

Abstract

Mental modelling analysis can be a valuable tool in understanding and bridging cognitive values in multi-stakeholders’ communities. It is especially true in situation of emerging risks where significant uncertainty and competing objectives could result in significant difference in stakeholder perspective on the use of new materials and technologies. This paper presents a mental modelling study performed among prospective users of an innovative decision support system for safe and sustainable development of nano-enabled products. These users included representatives of industry and regulators, as well as several insurance specialists and researchers. We present methodology and tools for comparing stakeholder views and objectives in the context of developing a decision support system.

Keywords

Nanomaterials Decision support Mental model Industry Regulators 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the participants during the stakeholder engagement activities reported here, and the constructive comments of two anonymous reviewers. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007–2013] under EC-GA No. 604305 ‘SUN’. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein.

Compliance with ethical standards

Human and animals rights

We have not performed any experiments on humans and/or animals for which prior approval of an ethics board or similar body is required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. All respondents have been offered the option to respond anonymously. All published results are presented in anonymised form.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ineke Malsch
    • 1
  • Vrishali Subramanian
    • 2
  • Elena Semenzin
    • 2
  • Alex Zabeo
    • 2
  • Danail Hristozov
    • 2
  • Martin Mullins
    • 3
  • Finbarr Murphy
    • 3
  • Igor Linkov
    • 4
  • Antonio Marcomini
    • 2
  1. 1.Malsch TechnoValuationUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and StatisticsCa’Foscari University of VeniceVeniceItaly
  3. 3.Department of Accounting and Finance, Kemmy Business SchoolUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland
  4. 4.US Army Engineer Research and Development CenterConcordUSA

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