David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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NanoEthics 1 (1):21-30 (2007)
After reviewing portions of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act that call for examination of societal and ethical issues, this essay seeks to understand how nanoethics can play a role in nanotechnology development. What can and should nanoethics aim to achieve? The focus of the essay is on the challenges of examining ethical issues with regard to a technology that is still emerging, still ‘in the making.’ The literature of science and technology studies (STS) is used to understand the nanotechnology endeavor in a way that makes room for influence by nanoethics. The analysis emphasizes: the contingency of technology and the many actors involved in its development; a conception of technology as sociotechnical systems; and, the values infused (in a variety of ways) in technology. Nanoethicists can be among the many actors who shape the meaning and materiality of an emerging technology. Nevertheless, there are dangers that nanoethicists should try to avoid. The possibility of being co-opted from working along side nanotechnology engineers and scientists is one danger that is inseparable from trying to influence. Related but somewhat different is the danger of not asking about the worthiness of the nanotechnology enterprise as a social investment in the future.
|Keywords||Nanotechnology Nanoethics Societal issues Ethical issues Sociotechnical systems Technological development|
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Citations of this work BETA
Jean-Pierre Béland, Johane Patenaude, Georges Legault, Patrick Boissy & Monelle Parent (2011). The Social and Ethical Acceptability of NBICs for Purposes of Human Enhancement: Why Does the Debate Remain Mired in Impasse? [REVIEW] NanoEthics 5 (3):295-307.
Kamilla Kjølberg & Fern Wickson (2007). Social and Ethical Interactions with Nano: Mapping the Early Literature. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 1 (2):89-104.
Céline Kermisch (2012). Do New Ethical Issues Arise at Each Stage of Nanotechnological Development? NanoEthics 6 (1):29-37.
David J. Bjornstad & Amy K. Wolfe (2011). Adding to the Mix: Integrating ELSI Into a National Nanoscale Science and Technology Center. Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (4):743-760.
Michael Gorman, Patricia Werhane & Nathan Swami (2009). Moral Imagination, Trading Zones, and the Role of the Ethicist in Nanotechnology. NanoEthics 3 (3):185-195.
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