Science and Technology Innovation Program
There has been little change in public awareness of either synthetic biology or nanotechnology since previous surveys, according to this 2013 poll of more than 800 U.S. adults. In the poll, 23 percent of adults say they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology, compared with 31 percent who say the same about nanotechnology. The most common associations that respondents make with synthetic biology are that it is unnatural, man-made, and artificial or that it has to do with reproducing life.
What are the possible risks and benefits of nanotechnology and consumer products? In an effort to reach out to the American public and engage them in an important online conversation about the issue, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies is collaborating with Consumers Union – publishers of Consumer Reports magazine and Consumer Reports Online.
Jean Lipman-Blumen, Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and author of The Connective Edge: Leading in an Interdependent World and Hot Groups: Seeding Them, Feeding Them, and Using Them to Ignite Your Organization, co-written with Harold J. Leavitt. In this interview, Dr. Lipman-Blumen talks about connective leadership, hot groups, and the relationship between innovation and failure in organizations.
Former presidential advisors highlight the need for a swift appointment of the next presidential science and technology advisor.
Working with outside experts, the Foresight and Governance Project hosted a workshop, Game-based Learning Models & Simulations: Expert Blueprints for Project Success, which explored how the management and performance of three sectors – hospitals, high schools, and parks – can be improved using game-based simulation, learning, and training technologies.
The increase in media coverage of synthetic biology between 2003-2008 is tracked in this 2008 report. The combined survey rests on the findings of individual U.S. and European press coverage analyses, and examines aspects of synthetic biology that may be cause for either potential public acceptance or rejection of the technology. The report concludes with an agenda for future social science research that can inform our understanding of how public perceptions of synthetic biology develop.
John Crowley, research fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and public policy scholar with the Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program. A. Ross Johnson, research fellow with the Hoover Institution and also a senior scholar with the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.
View A new study reveals that while Americans welcome new potential life-saving and -enhancing applications promised by nanotechnology, they voice concern over its potential long-term human health and environmental effects and the ability of government and the private sectors to manage such risks.