Thanks to Jasal for emailing this in.
Religion is said to be the driving influence behind Americans’ low moral opinion of nanotechnology, according to a researcher who surveyed public opinion on science and technology.
Dietram Scheufele, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of life sciences, and a colleague found in their study that only 29.5 percent of respondents from a sample of 1,015 adult Americans agreed that nanotechnology was morally acceptable.
When the survey was conducted in European countries, who are reportedly also key players in nanotechnology, the results were strikingly different.
In the United Kingdom, 54.1 percent found nanotechnology to be morally acceptable. In Germany, 62.7 percent accepted nanotechnology on moral grounds. That percentage climbed higher in France where 72.1 percent of survey respondents expressed no moral qualms about the technology.
Scheufele presented results from the 2007 summer survey on Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He conducted the U.S. survey with Arizona State University (ASU) colleague Elizabeth Corley under the auspices of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU.
The professor said religion accounts for distinct differences between the moral opinion of Americans and Europeans in regard to nanotechnology.
"The United States is a country where religion plays an important role in peoples' lives," said Scheufele .First Stem-cell research, Now nanotechnology. Do they oppose every technology that has the capacity to help sick people? It would have been interesting if they asked the people questioned what nanotechnology is, My bet would be that most don't have a clue.