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Friday, 7 December 2007

Nanotechnology and the media

The Wilson Center started its Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies in 2005, around the time that the media frenzy on the subject started. The project "is dedicated to helping business, governments, and the public anticipate and manage the possible health and environmental implications of nanotechnology".

The centre runs occasional web events. There is a new webcast scheduled for 18th December with the title Nanotechnology and the media: The inside story.

The event plans to investigate, among other questions:

  • Is media coverage of nanotechnology’s potential risks growing?
  • If so, who or what is driving articles in national newspapers and newswires—environmental and consumer organizations, scientists, law makers, or industrial and financial groups?
  • How do broadcast journalists decide to cover a nanotechnology story, especially one about possible risk-benefit tradeoffs?
  • Do radio and television correspondents face special challenges reporting on a technology which most Americans do not know about and which is on a scale invisible to the human eye?
One of the more interesting bits of the event could be the presentation by Professor Sharon Friedman who will present will present her latest results "from tracking seven years of newspaper and wire service reporting of nanotechnology risks in the United States and United Kingdom".