Public Acceptance Irrelevant?

Kristin Alford picked up a phrase in my talk today about public acceptance of technologies

Education is obviously a key part of communicating why we do scientific research, but I have to wonder whether it does much good outside the scientifically literate community. After all the benefits of some GMO’s are obvious, but there has been a major public outcry against them in Europe, while the same people are happy to swallow hydrogenated palm oil and trans fats as they are ‘natural.’

The peculiarity of the position is neatly illustrated by this comment on a recent article by George Monbiot, and I have to wonder if any kind of education, or even twenty years in a Soviet Gulag would change such entrenched views?

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