Consumer’s knowledge of nanotechnologies has decreased since a previous study in 2008
New interviews with the German and Swiss public suggest that consumer’s knowledge of nanotechnologies has decreased since a previous study in 2008. According to Nanotechnologies from the consumers’ point of view, the public’s knowledge has become more abstract, with the average consumer able to list fewer applications of nanotechnology than previously. One application that has grown in recognition (from 17% to 25% of consumers listing it) was chemistry, suggesting that consumers associate nanotechnology with innovative research. However, 40% of respondents claimed that nano has disappeared from the public’s consciousness either because it is purely confined to research, or because ‘nano never worked’.
However, although the quality of the public’s knowledge of nanotechnologies has decreased, their descriptions surrounding the risk debate have become more precise and two thirds of respondents reported that they would like to try nanoproducts.