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Nanotechnologies took the stage in Italy and Portugal

Events

Nanotechnologies took the stage in Italy and Portugal

Thu, 24 Oct 2013
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On September 7th and 8th nanOpinion landed on the Polvese Island in the middle of Trasimeno Lake in Italy, a wonderful setting that hosted the science festival called “Isola di Einstein”. The NanOpinion Monitoring Station was set on the top of a beautiful meadow, beside an area dedicated to theatrical science shows. Activities with top table experiments, discussion games and discussion boards were held throughout the two days.

One important part of this nanOpinion session was the theatrical show “Nanometamorfosi” by the theatre company Le Nuvole, a show dedicated to the risk-benefit balance of nanotechnologies and science in general.  After each show the audience was invited by a dedicated facilitator to join together near the Monitoring station and discuss topics presented in the show.

As the Isola Polvese in mid September is usually frequented by many out region tourist coming from all Italy, globally the participants and audience was composed with a high fraction (estimated in at least 50%) of people not having a particular interest in science or science events. They were mainly families with kids aged from 6 to 12 and also a significant number of university students.

All of them were very interested in the experiments using magic sand, ferrofluids and nitinol wire. They were also interested on some applications of nanotechnologies, such as nano T-Shirt, nano food container, nanocarbon filters, etc. Adults were also interested in market related topics as many questions were about marketing and prices of the nano-products.

People were at first very positive about nanotechnologies, even if not very well informed about it. After a short presentation of some potential risks, they shifted the point of view appreciating with surprise that the activity was not only about science but also on its ethical, legal and social aspects. After this first switch of mind they started to reflect on risks, which can be considered a successful outreach result.

Nanopinion at “Science in the Street” in Estremoz, Portugal

During the 21st of September around 2000 people to attended to “Science in the Street” festival where science and art hold their hands. In this occasion the participants ranged from 6 year old kids to 80 year old adults. Opinion boards were much successful since people looked really comfortable putting their post-its giving their opinion. In general they didn’t know much about nanotechnologies, though they really liked to learn more about them.

The debates were organised with a modified version of the discussion game for the festival and it worked successfully. Two bikers in extremely radioactive way appeared from nothing, interacting with people passing-by and gathering them to a live discussion, using songs and good mood. A total of 90 people were engaged. Generally they were reluctant to trust on nanotechnologies, though they would try some products, as long as they were not applied on their bodies.

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About nanopinion

  • nanopinion is an EC-funded project bringing together 17 partners from 11 countries with the aim of monitoring public opinion on what we hope from innovation with nanotechnologies. The project is aimed citizens with a special focus on hard-to-reach target groups, which are people who do not normally encounter and give their opinion nanotechnologies at first hand.
  • Dialogue is facilitated online and in outreach events in 30 countries presenting different participatory formats.
  • To promote an informed debate, we also run a strong press & social media campaign and offer a repository with more than 150 resources.
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