Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 408126
Title Societal response to nanotechnology: converging technologies–converging societal response research?
Author(s) Ronteltap, A.; Fischer, A.R.H.; Tobi, H.
Source Journal of Nanoparticle Research : an Interdisciplinary Forum for Nanoscale Science and Technology 13 (2011)10. - ISSN 1388-0764 - p. 4399 - 4410.
Department(s) LEI Consument and Behaviour
LEI Consumer & behaviour
Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
Environmental Policy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) emerging technologies - oversight assessment - public perception - risk perception - acceptance - model - trust - future - governance - engagement
Abstract Nanotechnology is an emerging technology particularly vulnerable to societal unrest, which may hinder its further development. With the increasing convergence of several technological domains in the field of nanotechnology, so too could convergence of social science methods help to anticipate societal response. This paper systematically reviews the current state of convergence in societal response research by first sketching the predominant approaches to previous new technologies, followed by an analysis of current research into societal response to nanotechnology. A set of 107 papers on previous new technologies shows that rational actor models have played an important role in the study of societal response to technology, in particular in the field of information technology and the geographic region of Asia. Biotechnology and nuclear power have, in contrast, more often been investigated through risk perception and other affective determinants, particularly in Europe and the USA. A set of 42 papers on societal response to nanotechnology shows similarities to research in biotechnology, as it also builds on affective variables such as risk perception. Although there is a tendency to extend the rational models with affective variables, convergence in social science approaches to response to new technologies still has a long way to go. The challenge for researchers of societal response to technologies is to converge to some shared principles by taking up the best parts from the rational actor models dominant in information technology, whilst integrating non-rational constructs from biotechnology research. The introduction of nanotechnology gives a unique opportunity to do so.
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