Lay and Expert Perceptions of Planetary Protection

8 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2010

See all articles by Donald G. MacGregor

Donald G. MacGregor

MacGregor-Bates, Inc.

Paul Slovic

Decision Research; University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Date Written: 1998


As space scientists and engineers plan new missions to Mars and other plants in our solar system, they will face critical questions about the potential for biological contamination of planetary surfaces. In a society that places ever-increasing importance on the role of public involvement in science and technology policy, questions about risks of biological contamination will be examined and debated in the media, and will lead to the formation of public perceptions of planetary-contamination risks. These perceptions will, over time, form an important input to the development of space policy.

(Report No. 98-02)

Keywords: space exploration, planetary protection, Mars, hazards

Suggested Citation

MacGregor, Donald G. and Slovic, Paul, Lay and Expert Perceptions of Planetary Protection (1998). Available at SSRN: or

Donald G. MacGregor (Contact Author)

MacGregor-Bates, Inc. ( email )

1010 Villard Ave.
Cottage Grove, OR 97424
United States
(541) 942-5727 (Phone)

Paul Slovic

Decision Research ( email )

1201 Oak Street, Suite 200
Eugene, OR 97401
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)
541-485-2403 (Fax)


University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-485-2400 (Phone)

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