Contradictory intent? US federal legislation on integrating societal concerns into nanotechnology research and development

Erik Fisher, Roop L. Mahajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalScience and Public Policy
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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