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Keywords:

  • governance;
  • high-tech;
  • nanotechnology;
  • national governance

Abstract

This article presents an up-to-date view of leading U.S. nanoscientists' perceptions about the regulation of nanotechnology. Our analysis draws from the results of a 2011 mail survey with 444 of the most prolific nanoscientists in the United States to explore their perceptions about existing nanotech policies, the development of new nanotech policies, and mandatory policies about the implementation of safe lab practices for federally funded nanoresearch. In addition to exploring the scientists' perceptions about these pressing policy issues, we also test relationships between their perceptions about regulation and control variables such as gender, disciplinary affiliation, and political ideology. Last, the results of the 2011 data collection are compared with a similar mail survey that was conducted in 2007 with leading U.S. nanoscientists to explore any changes over the four-year time period in scientists' perceptions about nanotechnology policy making, and governmental involvement in nanotechnology research.