Nanotechnology and Public Interest Dialogue: Some International Observations

Abstract

This article examines nanotechnology within the context of the public interest. It notes that though nanotechnology research and development investment totalled US$9.6 billion in 2005, the public presently understands neither the implications nor how it might be best governed. The article maps a range of nanotechnology dialogue activities under way within the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Australia. It explores the various approaches to articulating public interest matters and notes a shift in the way in which these governments, on the whole, appear to be attempting to manage nanotechnology “risks.” It argues that open and transparent policy deliberations and extensive public discourse will be pivotal to protecting the public interest, gaining public trust and acceptance of nanotechnologies. The article concludes that though governing emerging technologies in the public interest is not a new concept, nanotechnology does present additional challenges that must be addressed by the guardians of the public interest.

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References found in this work

Strengths of Public Dialogue on Science‐Related Issues.Roland Jackson, Fiona Barbagallo & Helen Haste - 2005 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (3):349-358.
The GMO-Nanotech (Dis)Analogy?W. D. Kay & Ronald Sandler - 2006 - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 26 (1):57-62.

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