Nanotech Database

Article Title:
How Should We Do Nanoethics? A Network Approach for Discerning Ethical Issues in Nanotechnology

van de Poel, Ibo

Journal Information:
Vol. 2, Num. 1


The author of this article takes issue with the current programs for nanoethics and suggest that, rather than subscribing to one or the other of the current schools, it might be best to develop a networked approach. The creation of this network, as opposed to a singular ethical model, would more flexible, and hence able to deal with the new and unprecedented issues brought up by nanotechnology; would be upstream, and hence able to influence the science in the developmental stage as opposed to acting in a reactive way; and would take the issues into account from a real-world context, rather than being seen from the cozy confines of the laboratory. There are pitfalls to this approach, most notably the potential for too-close relationships between ethicists and scientists, for issues outside the purview of the ethicists to go unmentioned and for broader issues to escape close examination, but the author still seems to think this preferable than a more concentrated type of ethics.