Ethical responsibilities of nanotechnology researchers: A short guide [Book Review]

NanoEthics 4 (1):1-12 (2010)
Little if any of the scholarly literature on nanotechnology (NT) and ethics is directed at NT researchers. Many of these practitioners believe that having clear ethical guidelines for the conduct of NT research is necessary. This work attempts to provide such guidelines. While no qualitatively new ethical issues unique to NT have yet been identified, the ethical responsibilities identified below merit serious attention by NT researchers. Thirteen specific ethical responsibilities arising at three levels are identified. They are derived by applying four fundamental ethical responsibilities of scientists and engineers to the specific conditions of NT research and researchers in contemporary Western societies. Since society is placing increasing importance on producing scientists and engineers who combine high technical competence with a sensitive ethical compass, study of the ethical dimension of NT, including the identified ethical responsibilities, should become a required element of the formal education of all NT researchers.
Keywords Nanotechnology  Ethics  Ethical issues unique to nanotechnology  Ethical responsibility and ethical responsibilities  Fundamental ethical responsibilities of scientists and engineers  Ethical responsibilities of nanotechnology researchers  Micro-social  Meso-social, and macro-social levels  Guide  Ethical dimension of nanotechnology  Formal education of nanotechnology researchers
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-010-0082-y
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