The governance of nanotechnology
Science and Public Policy,
Despite the promises made for nanotechology, its direction and momentum as it has developed to date already pose very considerable problems of regulation and control in quite fundamental ways. This article will review these difficulties under four themes. First, the principal agents for framing governance agreements (states) are also the principal proponents of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Second, the speed of new advances in nanotechnology and the reach of their implications are already outpacing our means of social deliberation. Third, as the products and processes of nanotechnology become more widespread and more embedded, controlling pernicious applications will be every bit as vexed as the abuse of biological knowledge is currently. Finally, military applications are already underway, so a combination of realist fears and competitive economic drives is likely to disadvantage under-developed countries. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.