Communicating nanotechnology research is critical for Europe and especially for European institutions, so selecting and structuring the relevant information to reach key audiences is essential. Meaningful communication is especially needed in the case of nanotechnology as the public seems to be more sceptical and less deferential about it. This is the reason why creating a relationship and an exchange between stakeholders is regarded as being essential.
The EC singled out the real need for a fresh approach to communicating nanotechnology and building mechanisms allowing all stakeholders to get involved and give feedback. In order to increase confidence and trust in nanotechnology, the potential benefits and the potential risks or challenges need to be properly addressed.
Responding to the EC’s requirement to develop a safe, integrated and responsible nanotechnology, a whole range of specific communication projects focused on the involvement of young people, a balanced information of public opinion, with the ultimate aim to set up a solid dialogue mechanism about nanotechnology within the whole of Europe’s society.
Several EU funded projects aim at increasing the wider public's and young people's basic understanding of nanotechnologies, for example
Nanodiode: Inspire the dialogue on research policy.
Nanopinion: Nanotechnologies: where should they take us ? Have your say !
Nanototouch: which offers visitors in science centres and museums the opportunity to learn about scientific discovery and what lies behind it directly from the main protagonist: the researcher.
Time for Nano: which aims at engaging the general public, with a special attention to young people, on benefits and risks related to nanoscale research, engineering and technology, through specific informal education products.
Nanoyou: which aims to increase young people’s basic understanding of nanotechnologies (NT) and to engage in the dialogue about its ethical, legal and social aspects.