Information and communication are key components when it comes to the development of new technologies. The public should have the opportunity to discuss the opportunities and risks of new technologies in order to conceive their own opinion.
Public perception and the social acceptance of a new technology play an important role in its development. Public acceptance is a prerequisite for economic and political success.
Various institutions regularly examined citizens' knowledge, the perception of chance and risk, as well as the acceptance of nanotechnologies among the population. The results of these studies on the perception of nanotechnologies in Germany (population and media) show that nanotechnologies are generally less present today than in 2007 in the media as well as in the population. However, public knowledge about specific applications has grown. The articles in the media are more comprehensive and application-oriented. Nanotechnologies are generally perceived as technologies in which the benefits outweigh the risks (BfR 2013).
The German NanoKommission was initiated in 2006 by the German Government. The initiative intends to accompany the rapid development of nanomaterials while safeguarding chances of a discussion of safety issues (DGUV Positionspapier 2010). Under this initiative, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research published a "Action Plan Nanotechnology".
- BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) 2013: Nanoview - Einflussfaktoren auf die Wahrnehmung der Nanotechnologien und zielgruppenspezifische Risikokommunikation
- BMBF 2011: nano.DE-Report 2011
- DGUV (German Social Accident Insurance) 2010: Positionspapier "Verantwortungsvoller Umgang mit Nanomaterialien"