The NanoBazaar is a pop-up initiative located in the centre of European cities. The aim of the activity is to offer visitors an opportunity to engage in dialogue with nanotechnology researchers on the pros and cons of nano-enabled products. The NanoBazaar displays real and imaginary products and invites visitors to give their opinion on these products.
The NanoBazaar invited people to take a peek into the nanoworld as they were shopping or passing by.
Their responses evolved into a growing cloud of information around the products and was the starting point for discussions with researchers present at the Bazaar. Posters, banners and video presentations offer further background information on the history of nanotechnologies and recent advances.
By using products from daily life, it was easy for people to get engaged with this topic. A playful interactive ‘survey’ was used to trigger people’s attention, to share information, to learn more about this topic, to form their own opinion, and to discuss this with the experts around. This ‘information cloud’ also made people aware of others’ people opinions and thoughts.
Through the discussions, both researchers and citizens acquired a more nuanced understanding of their expectations, hopes and concerns on nanotechnologies now and in the future. These discussions also provided hints into public perceptions: visitors considered medical applications and renewable energy as the most interesting applications of nanotechnology. They were curious about new things (fictitious Nanowine and NanoPaint were the most hotly debated topics) but critical towards possible side effects.
The NanoBazaar was developed as part of the public communication activities within the NanoDiode project. These activities sought to transcend binary positions ‘for’ or ‘against’ nanotechnologies, and instead present an all-partial perspective, displaying a range of visions on the ways in which nanotechnologies could impact our society, without dictating which perspective is more relevant or important.
• Pop-up initiatives organised in 3 locations (Wroclaw Poland, Graz Austria, Leuven Belgium).