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Risk and Culture: Is Synthetic Biology Different?

A CCP study finds that this novel technology generates a novel risk-perception profile. 

Examining the attitudes of a large and diverse sample of Americans (= 1,500), we found that hierarchical, conservative, and highly religious individuals—persons who normally are most skeptical of claims of environmental risks (including those relating to nuclear power and global warming)—are the persons most concerned about synthetic biology risks. We attribute this inversion of the normal cultural profile of risk perceptions to the seemingly anti-religious connotations of synthetic biology. We discuss implications of this finding for future study and for risk communication. 

Related video: workshop presentation discussing data from study of synthetic biology risk perceptions.


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