A New Approach to Risk Management for Nanotechnology
43 Pages Posted: 21 May 2007 Last revised: 14 Feb 2014
Date Written: May 1, 2007
Risk management of nanotechnology is challenged by enormous uncertainties about the properties, risks, benefits, and future direction of nanotechnology applications. Because of these uncertainties, traditional risk management principles including acceptable risk, cost-benefit analysis and feasibility are unworkable, as is the more recent precautionary principle. Yet simply waiting for these uncertainties to be resolved before attempting to manage nanotechnology risks would not be prudent, in part because of growing public concerns driven by risk perception heuristics such as affect and availability. A more reflexive, incremental, and cooperative approach is required. Such an approach will not only help manage emerging risks from nanotechnology, but will also serve as a model for managing future technologies.
Keywords: Technology, Psychology, Heuristics, Nanotechnology, Regulation, International, precautionary, risk regulation, risk perception, voluntary programs, norms
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