IrsiCaixa and the British Council foster social reflection on nanotechnologies


  • During the months of May and June, three festive events in Barcelona will unveil nanotechnology to citizens and seek the views of the participants.
  • The activities are part of the European project NanOpinion, which aims to facilitate a forum for information and debate on nanotechnologies, which are already present in more than a thousand products on sale.
  • IrsiCaixa, jointly funded by "la Caixa" Foundation and the Government of Catalonia Department of Health, is one of 17 partners of NanOpinion.


The Unit of Public Engagement on Health Research at IrsiCaixa, together with the British Council in Barcelona, organized during the months of May and June three festive events to raise awareness of nanotechnology and collect the views of Barcelona's citizens. These activities are carried out in collaboration with the Institute for bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC). They  are part of the European project NanOpinion (, which aims to facilitate a forum for information and debate on nanotechnologies, which are already present in more than a thousand products on sale.


The activities will take place on 26 and 31 May at the public library Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, and also the second weekend of June at the Ciutadella Park, also in Barcelona, where the Festival of Science will be held. Science communicators, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) experts and researchers will be there to resolve the doubts raised by participants, and they will foster social reflection on nanotechnologies.


By small demonstrations, products already on sale, participatory workshops, electronic tablets and printed surveys, visitors will become familiar with nanotechnology and they will be able to say what they think about their risks and their benefits of nanotechnologies. All that, under a monitoring station, a mobile tent that will land in Barcelona after travelling across some European countries such as Romania, Italy, Portugal or Croatia (see picture).


NanOpinion: a European project
and the British Council are part of the NanOpinion European consortium, made up of 17 partners from all over Europe. NanOpinion aims at analyzing public opinion on nanotechnologies in this continent. The project is specifically designed for those groups that are hard to reach, meaning that they are not presupposed to have a particular interest in science.


The project promotes social debate at different levels : Internet, via the website ( and social media (Twitter and Facebook); printed and online press through the media involved in the project; and outreach events and courses in pilot schools, in more than 20 countries. The conclusions and recommendations obtained at the end of the project will be communicated to politicians from different institutions, including the European Commission (EC).

The project will end in autumn. Then, the partners of the project will write a report on the results. The methodology of citizen participation used by NanOpinion will be made public so it can be used by other projects in the new Framework Programme of the EC Horizon 2020, which promotes what the European Commission defines as Responsible Research and Innovation, where citizen participation is included. In pursuing this line of making research, IrsiCaixa also participates in the European project RRI Tools, which aims to disseminate this new approach to the relationship between science and society. IrsiCaixa leads the National Hub and "la Caixa" Foundation is in charge of coordination.




Know more about NanOpinion here!