Nanotech Database

Article Title:
The New Deficit Model

Brown, Simon

Journal Information:
Nature Nanotechnology
Vol. 4, Num. 10


Brown finds problems with the Deficit Model, or the idea that the public will change its opinion of an emerging technology if provided with enough of the correct information. Brown sees that the public will not blindly change without having their say in the process, and that true engagement with the people by scientists working in newer fields like nanotechnology is the only way to get the average citizen to come around and support it. He sees the New Deficit Model as one where the difficulties associated with the introduction of new nanotechnologies are due to a deficit of scientific information on the health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials, and this deficit can only be solved by obtaining the facts. Brown sees this new model as just as problematic as the old, in that neither really leaves room for the sort of regulation a new technology needs to ensure safety. The establishment of an adaptive government regime to regulate nanotechnology research and application would, in Browns eyes, be the first step toward making the field safe and gaining the kind of public support desired.