The views of experts and the public regarding societal preferences for innovation in nanotechnology

N. Gupta

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Nanotechnology represents an emerging technology with varied application areas. It has been identified as the next scientific breakthrough with potential for positive impacts for society. The development and application of emerging technologies has been shown to be contingent upon societal responses to those technologies and their applications. Socio-psychological factors will potentially influence societal responses to nanotechnology, and play an important role in its development and commercialisation. The views of both experts and the general public regarding societal preferences for innovations in nanotechnology will be important in identifying which applications will be commercialised. If expert views regarding the determinants of societal acceptability do not align with those held by the general public, applications that consumers will reject may be introduced early in the commercialisation trajectory and focus public opinion on the negative aspects of nanotechnology. Conversely, applications which are acceptable to consumers may never be commercialised if experts perceive that consumers are likely to reject them. This thesis identifies and describes factors influencing societal response to nanotechnology by incorporating views from experts and the general public. Three research approaches were utilised. The first focussed on reviewing previous scientific research into the socio-psychological factors that influence public acceptance of new technologies. The second focussed on identifying and quantifying expert views on the factors that will influence societal acceptance or rejection of nanotechnology. The third tested whether the different factors do, in fact, drive public opinion.
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Frewer, Lynn, Promotor
  • Fischer, Arnout, Co-promotor
  • Kampers, Frans, Co-promotor
Award date9 Dec 2013
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789461737625
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2013


  • nanotechnology
  • acceptability
  • innovation adoption
  • innovations
  • experts
  • consumers
  • attitudes
  • opinions
  • food production
  • consumer behaviour
  • food acceptability

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