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A New Approach to Risk Management for Nanotechnology

43 Pages Posted: 21 May 2007 Last revised: 14 Feb 2014

Kenneth W. Abbott

Arizona State University

Gary E. Marchant

Arizona State University - College of Law

Douglas J. Sylvester

Arizona State University - College of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2007

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Kenneth W. and Marchant, Gary E. and Sylvester, Douglas J., A New Approach to Risk Management for Nanotechnology (May 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=987526 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.987526

Kenneth Wayne Abbott

Arizona State University ( email )

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

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)

Douglas J. Sylvester (Contact Author)

Arizona State University - College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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