NanoEthics

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 43–60

Risk Management Principles for Nanotechnology

  • Gary E. Marchant
  • Douglas J. Sylvester
  • Kenneth W. Abbott
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11569-008-0028-9

Cite this article as:
Marchant, G.E., Sylvester, D.J. & Abbott, K.W. Nanoethics (2008) 2: 43. doi:10.1007/s11569-008-0028-9

Abstract

Risk management of nanotechnology is challenged by the enormous uncertainties about the risks, benefits, properties, and future direction of nanotechnology applications. Because of these uncertainties, traditional risk management principles such as acceptable risk, cost–benefit analysis, and feasibility are unworkable, as is the newest risk management principle, the precautionary principle. Yet, simply waiting for these uncertainties to be resolved before undertaking risk management efforts would not be prudent, in part because of the growing public concerns about nanotechnology driven by risk perception heuristics such as affect and availability. A more reflexive, incremental, and cooperative risk management approach is required, which not only will help manage emerging risks from nanotechnology applications, but will also create a new risk management model for managing future emerging technologies.

Keywords

NanotechnologyRegulationRisk managementRisk perceptionHeuristicsVoluntary programs

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary E. Marchant
    • 1
  • Douglas J. Sylvester
    • 1
  • Kenneth W. Abbott
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology, Sandra Day O’Connor College of LawArizona State UniversityTempeUSA