- Q: What worries you about the public's response to nanotechnology?
A: I'm worried about an overreaction to both the hype and the fear. Every time a research article comes out talking about a certain type of risk, a dozen high-profile media stories ring alarm bells but fail to explain all the nuances of the study -- that results need to be repeated, or that concentrations of nanomaterials used in lab studies are unlikely to occur in nature. This sort of alarmist coverage can affect lawmakers as well as the public.
So one of my jobs is to help inform science policymakers in Washington. Likewise, the reactions to positive stories can be overdone -- driving unrealistic expectations about miracle cures or how soon new nanomaterials may be available. More here