Awareness and knowledge on modern biotechnology
Biotechnology has been considered as a very important industry in helping Malaysia to achieve its goal of becoming a highly industrialized nation by 2020. Thus, assessment of people’s knowledge and awareness on biotechnology is very important and according to a theory on decision making, people only form attitudes about technologies when they have acquired relevant information. The purpose of this paper is to study the awareness and knowledge level of the Malaysia public in the Klang Valley region and to compare their awareness and knowledge level across stakeholder groups. A survey was carried out in the Klang Valley region from August 2009 till February 2010 using self constructed multidimensional instrument measuring ethical perception of transgenic banana. The respondents (n = 434) were stratified according to stakeholder groups which consisted of eleven groups: Producers, scientists, policy makers, NGOs, media, religious scholars, university students and consumers. Results of the survey showed that overall mean score for awareness and knowledge on modern biotechnology were moderate. ANOVAs showed significant differences in awareness on modern biotechnology across several background variables such as stakeholders’ group and educational level. Knowledge level differed significantly across stakeholder groups, educational level, religion, races, age groups and gender. The research findings serve as a useful database for understanding the level of awareness among the public in developing country.
Key words: Awareness, knowledge, engagement, modern biotechnology, Malaysia.