Science and Technology Innovation Program
Awareness and Impressions of Synthetic Biology: Results of the 2013 Poll
Beginning in 2006, Peter D. Hart Research Associates and the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have conducted periodic national telephone surveys to gauge the public awareness of and attitudes towards synthetic biology and nanotechnology.
In our latest survey, conducted in January 2013, three-fourths of respondents say they have heard little or nothing about synthetic biology, a level consistent with that measured in 2010. While initial impressions about the science are largely undefined, these feelings do not necessarily become more positive as respondents learn more. The public has mixed reactions to specific synthetic biology applications, and almost one-third of respondents favor a ban “on synthetic biology research until we better understand its implications and risks,” while 61 percent think the science should move forward.
The survey also found that, despite outreach efforts, 68 percent of respondents have heard little or nothing about nanotechnology, which indicates no change in awareness since 2009.
Please join us Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at noon to discuss the complete results from the latest poll. A light lunch will be served beginning at 11:30 am.
Image courtesy of Library of Congress