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New Communication Strategies Will Guide Future of Nanotechnology


the need for research prior to initiating actions, careful ... Biotechnology. Microtech. Nanotechnology. Convergent. Technologies. Source: Lux Research ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: New Communication Strategies Will Guide Future of Nanotechnology

New Communication Strategies Will Guide Future of
November 17, 2006
Introductory Remarks

  • Frame the Discussion
  • Why Communication is Important
  • How Nano is Changing Communication Strategies
  • Case Studies
  • Anticipating and Affecting the Future/Societal
    Impact on Nano
  • QA

PR/Strategic Communications Defined
  • "Public relations helps an organization and its
    publics adapt mutually to each other."
  • Characteristics
  • the need for research prior to initiating
    actions, careful planning and thorough evaluation
    or measurement of results.
  • a continuing, systematic process instead of a
    one-time or single activity.
  • multiple audiences or publics.
  • its role as an essential function of management.
  • public participation, mediation, conciliation,
    arbitration and accommodation as important tools.
  • the need, in most instances, for long-term

Source Public Relations Society of America
Nanotechnology Whats at Stake?
  • Benefits
  • Healthcare advances
  • Consumer product advances
  • Jobs/Competitiveness
  • Environmental applications
  • Many other . . . .
  • Risks
  • Environment Health Safety issues
  • Balance of Power/Economies
  • Unintended consequences
  • Other . . . .

Nanotechnology Whats at Stake?

Heavy Engineering
Mass Production/ Consumption
Impact on Other Technologies and Society
Total Quality
Source Lux Research
Nanotechnology Whats at Stake?

2005 to 2009 Commercial breakthroughs open
2010 to 2014 Nanotechnology becomes commonplace

Source October 2004 Lux Research Report Sizing
Nanotechnologys Value Chain
Future of Nanotechnology
  • The broader public will have a voice
  • It will take time for science to answer key
  • The public debate is happening now
  • Traditional communication approaches are not
    adequate in this environment

Communication is Key

Mentions of nanotechnology in the popular press
Media coverage of nanotechnology both positive
and negative is increasingly exponentially
Source 2004 Lux Research Reference Study The
Nanotech Report 2004.
Communication is Key
  • The spectre of possible harm whether real or
    imagined is threatening to slow the development
    of nanotechnology unless sound, independent and
    authoritative information is developed on what
    the risks are, and how to avoid them. Lux
    Research 2006.
  • "If federal officials, business leaders and
    others do not devise a plan to fill the gaps in
    their knowledge of nanotech safety, the
    September 25, 2006, National Research Council
    report warns, the field's great promise could
    evaporate in a cloud of public mistrust… Rick
    Weiss, The Washington Post, Sept. 26, 2006.
  • Fears over the possible dangers of some
    nanotechnologies may be exaggerated, but they are
    not necessarily unfounded. Nature, Nov. 15, 2006

Communication is Key The Publics Knowledge
  • 42 - of public have no knowledge of nanotech
  • 35 - believe risks of nanotechnology outweigh
  • 15 - believe benefits of nanotechnology outweigh
  • Source Aug. 2006 Poll - Woodrow Wilson Intl
    Center for Scholars

Communication is Key
  • Communicating research on nanotechnology risks
    and benefits outside the scientific community is
    challenging, but is essential for a risk dialogue
    based on sound science. This means developing
    communication activities that enable technical
    information to be summarized, critiqued and
    ultimately synthesized for various interested
    parties, including decision-makers and
  • "If the public loses confidence in the commitment
    -- of governments, business and the science
    community -- to conduct sound and systematic
    research into possible risks, then the enormous
    potential of nanotechnology will be squandered.
    We cannot let that happen . . . "

Andrew Maynard, Woodrow Wilson Institute Project
for Emerging Nanotechnologies co-authors from
the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) and
the SnIRC initiative (Safety of nanoparticles
Interdisciplinary Research Center) in Nature,
Nov. 16, 2006.
Communication Challenges Nano is Unique
  • Cross-disciplinary
  • Different groups speak different languages
  • Nano is the great convener

Communication Challenges Nano is Disruptive
  • Key Perceptual Challenges
  • Evokes fear of the unknown
  • Challenges long-held beliefs
  • Changes the normal way we do things
  • Creates unrealistic expectations
  • Requires new risk/benefit equations
  • Doesnt conform with current policy or standards
  • Alters economic and business models

Nanotechnology Why Perception Matters
  • We project that of 8 trillion in cumulative
    manufacturing output incorporating nanotechnology
    through 2014, 38 is exposed to perceptual risk
    more than five times the proportion exposed to
    real risk when nano-enabled products are used.
  • A Prudent Approach to Nanotech Environmental,
    Health, and Safety Risks Lux Research, Inc. May


Drivers of Risk Perception
Primary Risk Perception Factors

Perceptions about risks are Value judgments, not
technical ones
Dr. Vincent Covello, Center for Risk
The Nanotechnology Environment
  • Uncertainties
  • Paradoxes
  • Unintended consequences

New Communications Case Studies
Historical context - Asbestos
  • Communication secrecy
  • Lawsuit
  • Threadgill v. Armstrong World Industries
  • The Sumner Simpson documents
  • Stored away in a safe in 1930s
  • Evidence of knowledge of link to cancer
  • Result
  • Supreme Court Justice Souter has called it the
    elephantine mass
  • 40 years and getting exponentially stronger
  • 1982 300 defendants
  • Today over 8,400 defendants
  • 60,000 jobs lost
  • 210 billion in cost

New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies

NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
  • Communication Challenge
  • Goal Eliminating death and suffering due to
  • Build communication network for worlds largest
    biomedical nanotech initiative.
  • Link cancer research community
  • Coordinate strategic planning across sectors to
    expedite promising results
  • Integrate research infrastructures and catalyze
    cross-disciplinary collaborations
  • Methodology
  • Web portal
  • Cancer Nanotechnology Plan
  • Areas of Focus (diagnostics and therapeutics)
  • Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence
  • Cross-stakeholder engagement
  • Federal Government (FDA, NIST, etc.)
  • Private Sector (large and small)
  • Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory


NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer
  • Approach
  • Launched with a scientific roundtable and media
    briefing highlighting academic/government thought
  • Centerpiece of the program is a new, branded
    website that provides a knowledge community for
    scientists, notice of funding opportunities, and
    engages the public with information and insights
    on scientific advances. A variety of multimedia
    approaches were used, including
  • Computer animations of nanomaterials
  • Webcasts on new scientific directions
  • Print and video materials for the media
  • Ongoing website features, including weekly
    science stories, an annotated scientific
    bibliography, and upcoming events calendar
  • Results
  • Continuous favorable media coverage. Increased
    dialogue and partnerships emerging across
    engineering, biology and oncology.
  • Thousands of researchers have visited the website
    to stay apprised of advances in nanotech.

New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies

Environmental Defense DuPont
  • Communication Challenges
  • Goal framework for the responsible
    development, production, use and disposal of
    nano-scale materials.
  • Overcoming traditional differences
  • Devising mutually agreeable methods for
    accomplishing goal and for communicating results
    to the public
  • Methodology
  • Chad Holliday, DuPont Chairman and CEO, and
    Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp in the
    June 14, 2005 edition of the Wall Street Journal
    An early and open examination of the potential
    risks of a new product or technology is not just
    good common sense -- its good business
  • Roadshow
  • Transparency

New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies

U.S. Patent Trademark Office
  • Communication Challenges
  • Overcoming increasingly complex
    cross-disciplinary patent applications common in
    the nanotech sector
  • Keeping up to speed with rapidly changing science
  • Maintaining publics confidence
  • Methodology
  • New Nanotechnology Cross-Reference Digest Class
  • Facilitates searching of prior art for nanotech
    patents in 253 separate classes
  • Re-training staff
  • Establishment of core nanotech examiner expertise
  • Informing the public how USPTO is addressing
    these challenges

New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies

Nano Startup, Inc.
  • Communication Challenges
  • Communicating complex science and innovation to
    investors, media and other audiences
  • Targeted markets include traditionally distinct
  • Healthcare
  • Cosmetics
  • Consumers products
  • Energy
  • Targeting multiple global markets at once
  • Methodology
  • Strategic planning/prioritizing
  • Limited resources
  • Choosing the right fit with the right PR agency
  • Consistent messaging
  • Other methods/techniques below

New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies
New Communications Case Studies

  • Communication Challenges
  • Multiple departments focused on different (or
    same) aspects of nanotechnology
  • Grant/funding opportunities
  • Methodology
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?

How do we anticipate and shape the future?
  • "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's
    about the future." -- Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate
    in Physics
  • "A good forecaster is not smarter than everyone
    else, he merely has his ignorance better
    organized. " -- Anonymous

How do we anticipate and shape the future?
  • Analyze, prepare, engage proactively, and adapt
  • Learn from the past and present
  • Employ cross-disciplinary analysis
  • Adopt creative and proactive approaches, rather
    than clinging to outdated methods
  • Contingency and scenario planning


Methodologies Issues

Methodologies Measuring Impact
  • Develop quantitative and qualitative criteria
    that measure impact on business objectives,
  • Media Analysis
  • Brand positioning and message delivery
  • Competitive positioning
  • Quality of media
  • Audience Engagement
  • Partner engagement
  • Event attendance
  • Email push responses
  • Web site visits/calls
  • Perception Audit
  • Quantitative and qualitative research on audience

Techniques to shape the future in nanotech
through communications
  • Starts with education training to all audiences
  • Integration of scientific and risk/benefit
    information into easily digestible educational
    modules, accessible to the public
  • Truthful messaging addressing risks and benefits
    of nanotechnology appropriate weight give to
  • Dialogue with policy makers and regulators
  • Mobilize credible sources to advocate for
  • Develop credibility through transparency
  • Be diligent in identifying and responding to


Pathways to shaping future of nanotech

How can society influence nanotechnology through
  • Challenges
  • Nanotech is complex
  • Opportunities
  • Political process
  • Increased forums for public participation
  • IT age
  • Innovative approaches (i.e. CNS Real Time
    Technology Assessment)

  • Contact
  • Griffith A. Kundahl
  • Vice President
  • Feinstein Kean Healthcare
  • An Ogilvy PR Worldwide Company
  • Direct 720.219.3896