From nuclear power to gene therapy to the automobile, history shows that it is useful to encourage and facilitate public discussion about new technologies and their potential dangers. Part of the series Perspectives in Nanotechnology, Nanotechnology and the Public: Risk Perception and Risk Communication assesses results from focus groups, interviews, and other resources to provide a more nuanced understanding of how non-experts perceive nanotechnology and what they expect from it. Includes a series of special essays by social scientists and humanities scholars who have studied nanotechnology and society from different perspectives Assessing how ordinary people form opinions about new technologies and their adoption, this book addresses the role of media messages and pre-existing values in this process, as well as how risks can become either amplified or weakened along the way as a result of social mechanisms. Using solid theory and research to back presented concepts on risk perception and communication, the author discusses the potential for using informed consent, labels, and other types of consumer warnings that have proved to be effective in areas other than nano. An in-depth investigation into the concept of mass communication practices, this book explores the paradox of why, despite its appeal and promise, public engagement has had only limited success in the dialogue on nanotechnology. Aimed at finding solutions, the book's resulting conclusions are considered in the context of broader issues. These include how society makes up its collective mind about technology adoption and all the profound questions this raises, in terms of democratic theory.