Governing Uncertainty

Governing Uncertainty: Environmental Regulation in the Age Of Nanotechnology Nanotechnology promises to transform the materials of everyday life, leading to smaller and more powerful computers, more durable plastics and fabrics, cheap and effective water purification systems, more efficient solar panels and storage batteries, and medical devices capable of tracking down and killing cancer cells. Policy analysts predict a radical change in the industrial sector. Yet the nanotechnology revolution is not straightforward. Enthusiasm about nanotechnology’s future is tempered by recognition of the hurdles to its responsible development, including the capacity of government to support technological innovation and economic growth while also addressing potential environmental and public health impacts.

This is the first volume to engage scholarly perspectives on environmental regulation in light of the challenges of nanotechnology. Contributors focus on the overarching lessons of decades of regulatory response to new technologies, while posing a fundamental question: How can regulatory systems satisfy the desire for scientific innovation while also taking into account the direct and indirect effects of 21st century emerging technologies, particularly in the face of scientific uncertainties? With perspectives from economics, history, philosophy, and public policy, this new resource illuminates the challenges inherent in the development of nanotechnology and works toward a reconceptualization of government regulatory approaches.

Edited by Director and Principal Investigator Christopher J. Bosso Governing Uncertainty: Environmental Regulation in the Age of Nanotechnology, contains seven contributions by NSRG members. Order the book from Earthscan Publishing here.

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