What Does the History of Technology Regulation Teach Us About Nano Oversight?

Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 2009

25 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2009  

Gary E. Marchant

Arizona State University - College of Law

Kenneth W. Abbott

Arizona State University

Douglas J. Sylvester

Arizona State University - College of Law

Date Written: August 4, 2009

Abstract

As policymakers struggle to develop regulatory oversight models for nanotechnologies, there are important lessons that can be drawn from previous attempts to govern other emerging technologies. Five such lessons are: (1) public confidence and trust in a technology and its regulatory oversight is probably the most important factor for the commercial success of a technology; (2) regulation should avoid discriminating against particular technologies unless there is a scientifically-based rationale for the disparate treatment; (3) regulatory systems need to be flexible and adaptive to rapidly changing technologies; (4) ethical and social concerns of the public about emerging technologies need to be expressly acknowledged and addressed in regulatory oversight; and (5) international harmonization of regulation may be beneficial in a rapidly globalizing world.

Keywords: nanotechnology, regulation, international law, technology, international relations, soft law, biotechnology, genetics

Suggested Citation

Marchant, Gary E. and Abbott, Kenneth W. and Sylvester, Douglas J., What Does the History of Technology Regulation Teach Us About Nano Oversight? (August 4, 2009). Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1470446

Gary E. Marchant

Arizona State University - College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
(480) 965-3246 (Phone)
(480) 965-2427 (Fax)

Kenneth Wayne Abbott

Arizona State University ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-5917 (Phone)

Douglas J. Sylvester (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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