May 15, 2014

Perceptions of Synthetic Biology and Neural Engineering

Key Findings from Qualitative Research

In April 2014, Hart Research Associates conducted two focus groups on behalf of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Synthetic Biology Project to gauge awareness of synthetic biology and neural engineering, associations that people make with these scientific developments, and reactions when they are given information about them. The research included gauging participants’ reactions to brief descriptions of each of these areas of science and to potential applications for them, as well as a discussion about preferences for oversight of synthetic biology. While this is the first time we have conducted qualitative research that involved a discussion of neural engineering, the discussions about synthetic biology are a continuation of similar exploration in 2011 focus groups, as well as quantitative research from 2008 through 2013.

More information on the focus groups can be found here.