Second-guessing consumer views on products using nanotechnology

This month’s copy of the journal Nature Nanotechnology has a commentary in it by myself and colleague Justin Kidd, where we ask whether manufacturers of nano-enabled water treatment products are in danger of second-guessing consumer views.

The commentary draws on research we’re currently involved in on gauging manufacturer perceptions of consumer perceptions, as they develop nano-enabled products to treat water in the home. We’re especially interested in whether this form of second-guessing consumer views potentially creates barriers, not because of what consumers think, but because of what others think they think.

Early indications are that manufacturers are highly sensitive to what they think consumer reactions will be to the use of nanomaterials in their products, but that they don’t necessarily base this on evidence. That said, we are also finding that the needle on consumer awareness of nanotechnology and the use of nanomaterials has barely shifted over the past 15 years or so.

The article can be read here — the full citation is: Maynard, A. D. and J. Kidd (2018). “Are assumptions of consumer views impeding nano-based water treatment technologies?” Nature Nanotechnology 13(8): 673–674. DOI: 10.1038/s41565–018–0230-z

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Originally published at on August 22, 2018.