Group 1 is composed of people who declared to have Very Good or Good knowledge of Genetic Engineering Area.
Group 2 is composed of people who declared to have Regular or Poor knowledge of Genetic Engineering Area.
Question: How is the development of GE science and industry in your country?
Question: Where should the community focus its efforts to improve and spread GE knowledge worldwide?
Question: Considering possible benefits and risks of GE, how do you evaluate its impacts in the folowing areas?
Currently used biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) are good substitutes for oil-based fuels.
The scientific community should continue to strive to obtain better or more efficient biofuels through the use of GE.
Biofuels technology will contribute to solve the environmental problems generated by fossil oil based fuels.
Biofuels do not compete with food for land use, and will not result in less food available at higher prices.
Scientific research aimed at obtaining more efficient biomass will enable appropriate land use for both food and biofuels.
Respondents were divided according to their level of knowledge of Genetic engineering, with Group 1 being composed by people who declared to have Very Good or Good knowledge of Genetic Engineering Area and Group 2 is composed of people who declared to have Regular or Poor knowledge of Genetic Engineering Area.
Brazilians who claimed less knowledge in the GE area believe that in Brazil GE development is poor. Given that the major Federal and State financing agencies in Brazil see bioenergy as a strategic area to be developed in the country, efforts should be directed in order to better divulgate to the general population the advancements Brazil is conquering in the area. By elaborating this survey and asking people on the street, we’re already contributing for this, but more efforts are needed.
People more versed in the area believe that International Cooperation is the more appropriate way of spreading the knowledge of GE to the general public, while people less versed believe that local governments should have this responsibility.
The acceptance GE has for science development is not as well reflected in its practical application, except for the area of Medicine. The less approved area of application of GE is Food, while for the areas of Manufacturing, Energy and Social Development opinions vary considerably. It is interesting that many people doubt whether or not GE will bring benefits to society.
Regarding biofuels, we observed that both laypeople and versed people on GE think that the area that causes most worries is land use. However, it is encouraging that most people recognize that through research it will be possible to enable efficient land use for both food and energy.
Nevertheless, it is not unanimous that biofuels will be appropriate substitutes for fossil fuels, since many think that biofuels will not beable to help solve the environmental problem caused by fossil fuels. In fact, other alternative energy sources, such as solar, nuclear and hydrogen were cited in the comments as the most appropriate way to solve the energy problem.
We conclude that biofuels remains a very controversial subject and demands more in-depth discussions between scientists. We think that it is imperative that the results of these discussions and of the scientific advancements concerning biofuels should reach the general public more directly and efficiently.