Hype and Public Trust in Science

Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):321-335 (2013)
Social scientists have begun elucidating the variables that influence public trust in science, yet little is known about hype in biotechnology and its effects on public trust. Many scholars claim that hyping biotechnology results in a loss of public trust, and possibly public enthusiasm or support for science, because public expectations of the biotechnological promises will be unmet. We argue for the need for empirical research that examines the relationships between hype, public trust, and public enthusiasm/support. We discuss the complexities in designing empirical studies that provide evidence for a causal link between hype, public trust, and public enthusiasm/support, but also illustrate how this may be remedied. Further empirical research on hype and public trust is needed in order to improve public communication of science and to design evidence-based education on the responsible conduct of research for scientists. We conclude that conceptual arguments made on hype and public trust must be nuanced to reflect our current understanding of this relationship
Keywords Public trust  Hype  Biotechnology  Public support/enthusiasm  Responsible conduct of research
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-011-9327-6
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References found in this work BETA
Nancy L. Jones (2007). A Code of Ethics for the Life Sciences. Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (1):25-43.
David Resnik (2011). Scientific Research and the Public Trust. Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3):399-409.

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