Congratulations to my research team at NTU and my collaborators in the Harvard School of Public Health! Our latest research on “Comparing the knowledge gap hypothesis in the United States and Singapore: The case of nanotechnology” is accepted for publication in the Public Understanding of Science.
Authors: Ho, S. S., Looi, J., Leung, Y. W., Bekalu, M. A., & Viswanath, K.
Abstract: This study examines the knowledge gap hypothesis in the United States and Singapore in the context of nanotechnology. This study proposes that academic discipline serves as a better indicator than education levels in predicting nanotechnology knowledge gaps. To reflect the contemporary media landscape, this study examines how attention to online media and documentaries, alongside traditional news outlets affect individuals’ nanotechnology knowledge. In both countries, online media and documentaries, as well as traditional news outlets, were related to nanotechnology knowledge to various extent. While the knowledge gap hypothesis was not observed in Singapore, results revealed that increased media attention and interpersonal discussion widened knowledge gaps between individuals from science and non-science disciplines in the U.S. Education levels failed to reveal a consistent moderation effect. Taken together, the interaction analyses revealed that academic discipline predicted nanotechnology knowledge gaps more consistently than education levels in the U.S. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.