The researchers compared attitudes to nanotechnology in 12 European countries and the US.
They then rated each country on a scale of what they called “religosity” – a measure of how religious each country was.
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.
Professor Dietram Scheufele from the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin, who led the research, said religious belief exerted a strong influence on how people viewed nanotechnology.
“Religion provides a perceptual filter, highly religious people look at information differently, it follows from the way religion provides guidance in people’s everyday lives,” he said.
The US was found to be the most religious country in the survey, and also the least accepting of nanotechnology.
I especially like the fact that the US was found to be the most religious country. Scary, but true. The good news is that science and rational thought will find a way to overcome religious prejudice in the long run, as it always does. Fact is, scientific advance will always happen to the detriment of religious dogma, whether it happens in this country or not.