Beyond Implications and Applications: the Story of 'Safety by Design' [Book Review]

Nanoethics 3 (2):79-96 (2009)
Abstract
Using long-term anthropological observations at the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology in Houston, Texas, the article demonstrates in detail the creation of new objects, new venues and new modes of veridiction which have reoriented the disciplines of materials chemistry and nanotoxicology. Beginning with the confusion surrounding the meaning of ‘implications’ and ‘applications’ the article explores the creation of new venues (CBEN and its offshoot the International Council on Nanotechnology); it then demonstrates how the demands for a responsible, safe or ethical science were translated into new research and experiment in and through these venues. Finally it shows how ‘safety by design’ emerged as a way to go beyond implications and applications, even as it introduced a whole new array of controversies concerning its viability, validity and legitimacy
Keywords Anthropology  Buckminsterfullerenes  Environmental engineering  Ethnography  Materials chemistry  Responsibility  Toxicology
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