Religion and nanotechnology

Religious people seem to have a more negative view of nanotechnology than others, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin's Department of Life Sciences Communication rated 11 countries in Europe and the US on "religiosity" and then looked at their attitudes on nanotechnology. Professor Dietram Scheufele and his colleagues presented their results in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology. (From the BBC News:

They found that countries where religious belief was strong, such as Ireland and Italy, tended to be the least accepting of nanotechnology, whereas those where religion was less significant such as Belgium or the Netherlands were more accepting of the technology.

The US was found to be the most religious country in the survey, and also the least accepting of nanotechnology…

The researchers say it is understandable that there would be a conflict between religious belief and nanotechnology, especially when looking at what they call "nano-bio-info-cogno" (NBIC) technologies, the potential to create life at a nano scale without divine intervention.

"It's not that they're concerned about not understanding the science, more that talking openly about constructing life raises a whole host of moral issues," said Professor Scheufele.

Religious 'shun nanotechnology' (BBC News),
Religious beliefs and public attitudes toward nanotechnology in Europe and the United States (Nature Nanotechnology)