Ray Walter, associate dean of the
Electronics and Engineering Technologies Department at Waukesha
County Technical College, holds up an example of a nanochip
recently while in a WCTC lab.
WAUKESHA - Most Americans believe nanotechnology is morally
unacceptable because of strong ties to faith that may skew perception
about the basis of the minuscule science, a recent study by the University
of Wisconsin-Madison said.
Dietram Scheufele, a UW-Madison professor of life sciences
communication who helped conduct the study, said deeply-rooted religious
views are dictating peoples’ views on nanotechnology. The results of the
study show an urgent need to better explain the scientific practice to the
public, he said.
"There seem to be distinct differences between the United States
and countries that are key players in nanotech in Europe, in terms of
attitude," Scheufele said in a written statement. "The
importance of religion in these different countries that shows up in data
set after data set parallels exactly the differences we’re seeing in
terms of moral views."
Nanotechnology involves the construction of devices and materials at
the smallest achievable scale. Scientists hope the technology will allow
for major breakthroughs in medicine, computers and other fields at a
It has been gaining momentum in scientific fields in the past 20 years
and now numerous nanotechnology devices are in use today. Locally,
Waukesha County Technical College has been teaching an introductory
program in the tiny science for the past several years.