Adapting Law to Rapid Technological Change

Project: Research project

Description

A series of concurrent technological revolutions are rapidly transforming economic, social and personal domains, now and even more so in the imminent future (Roco and Bainbridge, 2003; Garreau 2005). These current and pending emerging technological revolutions include information technologies, communication technologies, nanotechnologies, biotechnology, regenerative and reproductive medicine, robotics, neuroscience, surveillance technologies, and synthetic biology. Perhaps even more important than the degree and breadth of these technological changes considered individually or collectively is the exponential pace at which the successive waves of technical change are washing over us (Kurzweil 2005). In contrast to this accelerating pace of technology, the legal frameworks that society relies on to regulate and manage emerging technologies have not evolved as rapidly, fueling concerns about a growing gap between the rate of technological change and management of that change through legal mechanisms (Moses 2007). The consequences of this growing gap between the pace of technology and the pace of law may include the failure to control new health, environmental, economic or social risks, the burdens and inefficiencies associated with the application of outdated or inappropriate existing regulatory requirements, the undermining of public confidence in new technologies, and regulatory uncertainty for investors and businesses.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date10/1/0912/31/12

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $266,296.00

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technological change
Law
reproductive medicine
nanotechnology
neurosciences
biotechnology
investor
economics
biology
surveillance
new technology
communication technology
confidence
information technology
uncertainty
health
management