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 546088
Title The elephant in the room: How a technology’s name affects its interpretation
Author(s) Boersma, Reginald; Poortvliet, P.M.; Gremmen, Bart
Source Public Understanding of Science 28 (2018)2. - ISSN 0963-6625 - p. 218 - 233.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662518812295
Department(s) WASS
Strategic Communication
Philosophy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) attitudes - genomics - learning - nanotechnology - public education
Abstract

In this work, using experiments, we investigate the role of the name of a technology on the informed evaluation of that technology. We argue that a name can influence interpretations by activating cognitive structures. Using genomics-accelerated breeding as a case, we show that the name ‘genomics’ makes people evaluate related information as similar to genetic modification. Replacing the name ‘genomics’ with ‘natural crossing’ causes evaluations similar to those for traditional breeding. The results show that a name can have a strong influence on public attitudes, and we call for more consideration in choosing a name for a technology.

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