EUSJA workshop on Nanotechnology 2019


In connection with the General Assembly 2019 in Prague EUSJA organised a one day workshop with the national representatives. This was the culmination of the Nano2All project EUSJA has been involved in the last four years.

One of the outputs of the discussion among journalists was that there was a fundamental difference between nanotechnology and the GMO debate. Though both debates were about fear of the consequences of a new technology the benefits of nanotechnology was clear for the consumer who got products with improved properties whereas the GMO products were benefiting the agro-industry in an opaque way which was not necessarily giving a better product or saving money for the consumer. In the first case the consumer would be willing to run some risks to benefit from a better product in the latter example with the GMO, the consumer had little to gain and therefore was more critical about the new technology.

 

Another reason why nanotechnology was accepted more smoothly could be the higher level of inclusion of stakeholder in the debate and more openness to discuss possible adverse effects taking into account the bad experience with the GMO debate.

A third argument for not being alarmed about nanotechnology could be due to the term “nano” is referring to a scale and not a single product or group of products. It is covering a large number of products and technologies from electronics, materials, close, shoes etc to medicine and medical technologies.  Though the scale of the technology is the same the application is very diverse.

Read the final Nano2All report:

http://www.nano2all.eu/wp-content/uploads/files/NANO2ALL%20-%20685931%20-%20D5.5.%20Report%20on%20the%20public%20understanding%20attitudes%20a….pd

https://www.nano2all.eu/resources

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About Jens Degett

President of EUSJA, Chair of the Danish Science Journalists, former director of Communication and Information at ESF and one of the founding fathers of WFSJ and ESOF.