Nanotech Database

Article Title:
A Big Regulatory Tool-Box for a Small Technology

Bowman, Diana M

Journal Information:
Vol. 2, Num. 2


While the authors here see governments as largely taking a noninterventionist approach to directly regulating nanotechnology, they also see a big regulatory toolbox that will eventually lead to greater regulation but, surprisingly, outside the sphere of government. The paper looks at regulation itself and a possible reconceptualization of the idea based around the our changing understanding of the scientifically uncertain field of nanotechnology. The regulatory tools mentioned belong not to state governments but to economic actors, legislators, facilitators, information providers and parties, each of which have methods at their disposal to regulate the growth and direction of nanotechnology in the present and future. In essence, it is up to society at large to determine what tools would best serve the interests of the people as a whole, and which of the three regulatory lenses these authors identify might be the best one to wear. At the very least, this suggests a new consideration of how regulation works must be established.