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Guilty until proven?: Nanomaterial i konsumentprodukter som sociovetenskapligt dilemma.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI).
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Nano materials can today be found in a wide range of consumer products and the number of new products on the market is expected to inrease. In the shadow of hope for nano materilas potential in various applications, low awareness of its health and environmental risks is hiding. Furthermore, the knowledge about people´s risk perception of nano materials is limited. Parallel to the situation described above, the scholls meet the challenge of incrasing the scientific literacy. To achieve this goal, skills in argumentation in science studies has been emphasized and the concept of socio-scientific issues has been emerged. Using focus groups as a method, this study aimed first, to explore young engineering student´s risk perception of nano materials, and secont to analyze the extent to which they apply scientific konwledge to argue about nano materials. The material from the focus group interviews was analyzed with respect to both content and interaction. To analyze the content, a thematic classification of the material was made. The interactive and communicative forms were highlighted by an analysis of arguments according to the SEE-SEP-model. Seven themes were indentified from the focus group material. It was also assumed that 55 percent of the participants´arguments were based on values, 25 percent on konwledge and 20 percent on personal experiences. Despite the absence of specific knowledge, the young engineering students have the ability to conduct a complex argumentation about nano materials where they involve the paradox; new opportunities, inresolved risks. Their risk perception is not primarily based on knowledge but on emotional expressions such as fascination, hope, resignation and fear.

Abstract [sv]

Nanomaterial återfinns idag i ett brett spektrum av konsumentprodukter och antalet nya produkter förväntas öka på marknaden. I skuggan av förhoppningar om nanomaterialens potential i allehanda tillämpningar döljer sig bristfälliga kunskaper om dess hälso- och miljörisker. Vidare är kunskapen om människors riskpercetion an nanometrial begränsad. Parallellt med den ovan beskrivna situationen står skolan inför utmaningen att öka den naturvetenskapliga allmänbildningen. För att uppnå målet har kompetens inom argumentation i de naturorienterande ämnene betonats och begreppet sociovetenskapliga dilemman vuxit fram. Med fokusgrupper dom metod har studien syftat dels till att undersöka unga teknikstuderandes riskperceetpion av nanomaterial, dels till att analysera i vilken utsträckning de tillämpar vetenskapliga kunskaper för att argumentera om nanomaterial. Materialet från fokusgruppsintervjuerna analyserades med avseende på både innehåll och interaktion. För att analysera innehållet gjordes en tematisk indelning av materialet. De interaktiva och kommunikativa formerna belystes genom en argumentationsanalys enligt SEE-SEP-modellen. Sju teman identifierades ur fokusgruppmaterialet. Vidare utgick 55 % av deltagarnas argument från värderingar. därefter kom kunskap med 25 % och sist personliga erfarenheter med 20 %. Trots avsaknad av specifik kunskap, har unga teknikstuderande förmågan att föra en komplex argumentation om nanomaterial där de berör pradoxen; nya möjligheter, outredda risker. Deras riskperception baseras inte främst på kunskaper utan på emotionella uttryck så som fascination, hopp,uppgivenhet och rädsla.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
Nanotechnology, nanomaterials, consumer products, risk perception, science literacy, socioscientific issues.
Keyword [sv]
Nanoteknologi, nanomaterial, konsumentprodukter, riskperception, naturvetenskaplig allmänbildning, sociovetenskapliga dilemman.
National Category
Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-107271DiVA: diva2:575399
Subject / course
Technology and Learning
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Engineering and of Education
Uppsok
Technology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2012-12-10 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2013-03-20Bibliographically approved

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Caroline Karlsson, Civilingenjör och Lärare, examensarbete.(10257 kB)276 downloads
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