Human Practices

Questionnaire in our survey

We conducted a wide survey targeted at the general public, with respondents ranging from high school students to working citizens, in collaboration with the Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT-Kyoto) and Ehime University (Ehime-Japan). The survey had two objectives. The first was to find how Japanese people feel or think about synthetic biology and its associated issues such as bioethics and safety. The second was to capture the public perception of radiation in Japan. We surveyed people who came not only from biological backgrounds but also from various other fields of study. We also obtained feedback from visitors to our universities' open campus events. In addition, we made an online version of our questionnaire to survey even more people from various walks of life.

The Questionnaire

1. When shopping, do you buy “not genetically modified food?
[ Always buy / Tend to buy / Hardly mind / Not mind / Never seen such an indication ]
2. Have you ever heard the word, “Synthetic biology?
[ YES / NO ]
3. What do you associate with [genetic engineering and Biotechnology]?
[ Clone / GM crops (foods)/ DNA / Genome / Medicine / Cosmetic/ Bioethics / Virus / Artificial Life/Biological weapon / iPS cells /ES cells / Biofuel / Gene therapy/ Others( ) ]
4. What do you think about [genetic engineering]?
[Little understand /Negative effects on the environment/Negative effects on people / Unethical conduct / Insufficient legal framework / Insufficient safety / Don’t like science / Scary/ No negative effects on the environment or people / Useful / Already used in many counties / Interesting / Never mind / Others()]
5. What do you associate with [flies]?
[Dirty / Clean / Harmful / Useful / Cause of the disease /Used in researches on diseases / Unpleasant buzz /Often see / Others( ) ]
6. Do you know [ leukemia ]?
[ Yes / Only hear the word / No ]
7. Which do you guess [ leukemia ]? (※Please circle all that apply)
[Some established therapeutic method / Little understand / Scary /Incurable / Curable / Infectious / Blood is white / By nature / Bombed / Bone-marrow bank / Hard to meet the patients / Cancer /Asymptomatic / Not lead a normal life/Anti-cancer drugs/Others()]
8. Which do you guess [treatment for leukemia]?
[Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy/Bone-marrow implant/Gene therapy/Incurable/Curable/Have strong side effects/No effective therapeutic method/Expensive/Others()]
9. What treatment for leukemia do you want?
[Cheaper/Work at once/Don’t need to go to hospital /Effective in preventive relapse/Stop leukocytes’ excrescency /Destroy some leukocytes/Control

leukemia cells’ activities/ Inhibit leukemia cells’ divisions /Others()]

10. Please check your knowledge about radiation(※Please check all that apply)
  • □ You know the effect to human body by radiation concretely.
  • □ You know the difference of these units, becquerel and sievert.
  • □ You know the difference between radioactivity, radiation, and radioactivity substance.
  • □ You know the difference between external exposure and internal exposure.
  • □ You know the difference of the effect between to adults and to children.
  • □ You know radioisotope.
  • □ You know that radioactive materials are used in our daily lives.
  • □ You know that the discovery of radiation made a great contribution to the progress of science.
11. How do you feel about information on radioactive problem?(※Please circle all that apply)
[ completely credible / rather credible / hardly credible / little understand / not interested in it]
12. Do you think about “Nuclear power phase-out”?
[ (We should) execute immediately /execute gradually /not execute ]
13. Do you have a radiation dosimeter?
[Yes /No, and I don’t want it. /No, but I want it. /Either will do. ]
14. Were you changed your opinion about radiation? If yes, please write concretely.
[ Yes/ No]
15. Which technology do you fear, gene recombination or radiation technology?
[ both / gene recombination / radiation technology /neither]


・Most of people do not avoid buying genetically modified foods, while they do not like to eat them. It sounds inconsistent.(Q1)

・"Synthetic biology" is known by very little people. We, iGEMers, need to spread the knowledge of synthetic biology.(Q2)

・"iPS cells" are more famous than ES cells. This is, maybe, due to the news of Prof. Yamanaka in Kyoto University, who established the technique to treat iPS cells.(Q3)

・People's knowledge about radiation seems partial and inadequate,for example, "the difference between the units, becquerel and Sievert"and "the difference between radioactivity, radiation, and radioactivity substance", etc. are not understood very well. More accurate knowledge of radiation is shall be expanded.(Q10)

・Nearly half people feel “rather credible” about information on recent radioactive problems. But almost all people seem not to believe information completely. (Q11)

・Many people think Japan should give up nuclear power. The number of them is 3.25 times as large as opponents.(Q12)

・Radiation dosimeter is not spread in the Kansai-region. And many people think it is not necessary. Maybe, we believe, dosimeter are more needed in the Touhoku-region.(Q13)

・More than half people say that they did not changed their opinion about radiation after the accident. People who answered “Yes”, also says “I got to make efforts to find out correct information” and “I became to pay attentions to the news of nuclear power plants than before” and so on.(Q14)

・Many people seem to afraid both gene recombination and radiation technology, but radiation technology is feared more than gene recombination. In order to use bio-dosimeter practically, we would have to ease people's anxiety about gene recombination very carefully. (Q15)


The results of our questionnaire

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The data of people,filled out our questionnaire(total 814)

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