Engaging in Small Talk: Nanotechnology Down Under: Getting on Top of Regulatory Matters

Nanotechnology, Law and Business, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 225, June 2007

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007/08

13 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2009 Last revised: 17 Feb 2014

See all articles by Diana Megan Bowman

Diana Megan Bowman

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health

Graeme Hodge

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 19, 2009

Abstract

Australian state and federal governments have historically been at the forefront of developing innovative international policy and regulatory solutions to emerging technologies. Assisted reproductive technologies and genetically modified organisms are two prominent examples here. The question of how best to regulate new technologies is thus not in itself a new phenomenon. But nanotechnologies are ubiquitous, and the nano-phenomenon promises to challenge traditional regulatory frontiers. This article examines the current Australian policy and regulatory agendas for nanotechnology and considers current government responses to ethical, social and regulatory issues posed by nanotechnology to date. Activities such as the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into workplace exposure to toxic dust and the National Nanotechnology Strategy Taskforce Report for options on a National Nanotechnology Strategy are discussed. These activites are also placed within the comparative context of nano-based policy and regulatory activities within the United States and United Kingdom, and it is acknowledged that within all three juridictions, governments continue to act as both the advocate of the technology and the guardian of the public interest. The article concludes that the Australian government should adopt a more proactive approach to governing nanotechnology, and identifies a number of processes by which this may be undertaken.

Keywords: nanotechnology, regulation, Australia

JEL Classification: K0, K00, K19, K29, K32, K39

Suggested Citation

Bowman, Diana Megan and Hodge, Graeme, Engaging in Small Talk: Nanotechnology Down Under: Getting on Top of Regulatory Matters (February 19, 2009). Nanotechnology, Law and Business, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 225, June 2007, Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007/08, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1346791

Diana Megan Bowman (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Public Health ( email )

1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029
United States

Graeme Hodge

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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