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Relying on data from a nationally representative survey of American adults, this study explores the predictors of public regulatory attitudes on science policies for three science issues at different points of the issue-attention cycle: nuclear power, nanotechnology and synthetic biology. This study views public regulatory attitudes from three perspectives: ensuring safety from existing regulations, slowing down scientific progress, and the need of regulations for academic and commercial research. It aims to provide insights into public regulatory attitudes, including the role factual and perceived knowledge play in shaping public attitudes, how deference and trust in scientific authority can each play different roles in this process, how media consumption on traditional and online media platforms shape regulatory perspectives, and finally, how benefit and risk perceptions operate in this process. The results have the potential to inform how publics arrive at regulatory attitudes towards science policies for different types of science issues.