This paper argues that the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development (R&D) Act embodies an unresolved tension between two policy trends that pose a growing dilemma for future science and technology (S&T) policy makers: the imperative towards rapid technological implementation; and mounting pressure to conduct technology development with more effective regard to societal considerations. The tension emerges when comparing various 'Program Activities' set forth in the Act that require divergent policy models, by which the legislation attempts to balance international competition with concern over the perceived risks of nanotechnology applications. By prescribing the integration of societal and technical concerns during nanotechnology R&D, the Act could mark a radical shift in S&T policy in so far as it allows the consideration of societal concerns to influence technological activities and outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law