Between June and November 2009 young people between 11 and 26 years from several European countries and Israel participated in a survey on the topic of nanotechnologies containing focus group discussions and an online questionnaire which was published in eight European languages and filled in for valuable analysis by 1.969 young people. Interviews with experts of different related fields, e.g. teachers and science communication experts and national context questionnaires – filled in by representatives of five European countries - supplemented the survey.
The “report on the analysis of survey responses” that can be downloaded below is the outcome of a comprehensive survey on young people’s knowledge, interests and attitudes about nanotechnologies carried out within the NANOYOU project by the Austrian institute Centre for Social Innovation.
In general, results show that there is a high interest for nanotechnologies among young people and a wish for more profound knowledge in the future. However, the interest for NT is bigger than the knowledge, and young people would like to know more about it in the future.
NT is already part of future education and professional career considerations. Nevertheless young people are also very aware about risks and societal impact. Although they widely believe in positive developments in the future, they remain sceptical and critical against major issues as privacy, consumer protections, environment and health.
Concerning gender there is a gap concerning interest and knowledge. But seemingly there are potentials. In general, young people think that NT will improve our lives in future. They are mostly optimistic up to euphoric, but at the same time believe in risks and are aware of negative impact as well. For further developments and applications young people ask for independent regulation and control agencies. School, TV and radio, movies and internet are the most important sources for information about NT for young people.
Young people also wish to learn more at science centres and museums, at events and in seminars, courses and workshops, more than they do up to now. Seemingly, they want to gain more thorough information about NT.