Over the last decades, nanoscience and nanotechnology has been ascribed the potential to contribute beneficial applications in fields such as medicine, cosmetics, or environmental remediation. At the same time it is still contested whether engineered nanomaterials might be not one-sidedly “good” but may also entail negative side-effects for human health and the environment. To address this uncertainty, academic and political initiatives have sought to establish norms and practices to assess and govern nanomaterials.
Rooted in different disciplines such as ethics, ecology, law, social and political sciences, the chapters in this edited volume explore the normative approaches, societal practices, and legal mechanisms which have emerged in the nano-field over the last two decades. The chapters also present a broad variety of evaluative approaches that may assist societal actors in their attempts to actively shape and contribute to the debate about nanomaterials.
1. Eisenberger, I., Kallhoff, A. and Schwarz-Plaschg, C.: Rethinking ethical, legal, and societal frameworks for assessing and governing nanomaterials / Part I: Evaluation and Standardization (Anglea Kallhoff) / 2. Kallhoff, A., and Moser, E.: Ecocentric evaluation of nano-release / 3. Wickson, F., and Forsberg, E-M.: Standardising responsibility? The significance of interstitial spaces (reprint) / 4. Jaeger, Th.: Standardization and patenting in nanotechnology: Better balancing for a necessary nuisance / 5. De Vries, H.: Standardisation – enabler for nanotechnology innovation / Part II: Norms and Regulation (Iris Eisenberger) / 6. Bowman, D., and Tournas, L.: Science – democracy – industry: Who is in charge of regulating nanomaterials? / 7. Filser, J.: Pros and cons of nano-regulation and ways towards a sustainable use / 8. Eisenberger, I.: tba / 9. Flipse, S.M., Mantovani E., Porcari, A., and Yaghmaei, E: Monitoring the value of RRI in industrial nanotechnology innovation projects / Part III: Politics and Publics (Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg) / 10. Schwarz-Plaschg, C.: The politics and public imagination of nano-labeling in Europe / 11. Krabbenborg, L.: Emerging technologies and the problem of representation / 12. Seifert, F.: Nanotechnology: democratizing a hyped-up technology? / 13. Coenen, Ch.: Creating objects of deliberation and governance
Nanotechnology: Regulation and Public Discourse offers important insights into how, paradoxically, the smallest things seem capable of posing the biggest challenges to the world. Taking a comprehensive and multidisciplinary perspective, it integrates governance within and beyond the law, thus, deriving regulatory solutions from the micro-level for the macro-level. A highly instructive book for everyone interested in innovation and shaping a forward-looking normative frame for emerging technologies.
The book Nanotechnology: Regulation and Public Discourse skillfully investigates society’s normative practices for adopting new technologies. By probing the subject of nanotechnology, this important book breaks new ground within our understanding of contemporary mechanisms for assessment and definition of new technological advances. Taking matters further, this volume proposes methodological and normative guidelines that aid our preparation for better nanotechnological futures.
Iris Eisenberger is Professor at and Head of the Institute of Law at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Her research focuses on law and innovation, environmental law and research law as well as the didactics of law.
Angelika Kallhoff is a Professor of Ethics with special emphasis on Applied Ethics at the University of Vienna’s Department of Philosophy and the director of the Research Platform Nano-Norms-Nature. Her research interests are in the area of ethics, applied ethics, and political philosophy.
Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg is University Assistant (post doc) at the Research Platform Nano-Norms-Nature at the University of Vienna. Her research explores the co-shaping of emerging technosciences and society with a specific focus on the area of nanotechnology.