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How to bring confidence?

All risk communication experts insist on TRUST as a necessary condition for any process of integrating an innovation. By definition regarding emerging risks there is still no regulation, no experience-related feedback. There is no background for building confidence based on factual experiences. So, question is: how to bring confidence?

At the first sight 2 different options seem to be completely opposite:

  • marketing techniques suppose you want to sell something. The aim is “to make innovation acceptable to the public”,
  • education suppose you want to give people the means to choose by themselves, that mean you need to make things understandable and also attractive because you need people are interested in.

Most studies have shown that risk acceptance depends more on the perception than on the rational understanding of actual data. VALUES such as social equity, individual freedom, environment protection, concerns regarding the irreversibility of the applications, etc. seem more relevant to the average people.

Chris Toumey appropriately notes: “(we) are knowledgeable because (we) are supporters, instead of being supporters because (we) are knowledgeable”. In other words: do not aim at convincing, demonstrating, you will be irrelevant. Authentic national Societal Dialogue distinguishing itself from the marketing or from the education, must be thus introduced.

Code of Conducts (CoC) for nanoscience and nanotechnology proposes a voluntary code collecting together most of the concepts and values that have emerged in recent years from the debate on the governance and ethics of nanotechnologies. From this point of view, information regarding emerging risks should be above all an ethical duty for risk producers, and certainly not a tool exclusively oriented to acceptance.