Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Risk Management Principles for Nanotechnology

Marchant, Gary E

Journal Information:
Vol. 2, Num. 1


Nanotechnology, being a new field, has given scientists and policymakers fits as they try to determine what the word entails, what are the parameters for the field and what sort of ethical issues should be addressed, as well as when. The authors see in risk management of nanotechnology that traditional risk management principles such as acceptable risk, costbenefit analysis, and feasibility are unworkable, as is the newest risk management principle, the precautionary principle, largely because the field itself is so unstable in many ways. It would be impossible, however, to wait for the field to better define itself and practice a reactionary risk management at that point, and so the authors look to the creation of an entirely new risk management principle, based around a more incremental, multi-actor, and multi-component oversight model that would better be able to meet the unique challenges an emerging field like nanotechnology presents.