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The social responsibility of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: an integral approach

  • Encarnación Caballero-Díaz
  • Bartolomé M. Simonet
  • Miguel ValcárcelEmail author
Review

Abstract

The concept of social responsibility provides the ideal framework for raising awareness and arousing reflection on the social and environmental impact of nanoparticles in the range of 1–100 nm generated from research activities in nanoscience and production-related activities in nanotechnology. The model proposed here relates the essential aspects of these concepts by connecting the classical sequence Research–Development–Innovation (R&D&I) to nanoscience and nanotechnology (N&N) and social responsibility (SR). This paper identifies the stakeholders of the process and provides an extensive definition of Social Responsibility and related concepts. In addition, it describes the internal and external connotations of the implementation of SR at research centers and nanotechnological industries, and discusses the social implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology with provision for subjects such as nanoethics, nanotoxicity, and nanomedicine, which have emerged from the widespread use of nanomaterials by today’s society.

Keywords

Nanoscience and nanotechnology Social responsibility Corporate social responsibility Stakeholders Integral model Social and environmental impacts 

Abbreviations

AENOR

Spanish association for standardization and certification

CSR

Corporate social responsibility

CSP

Corporate social performance

FECYT

Spanish foundation for science and technology

ILO

International labour organization

ISO

International organization for standardization

IUPAC

International union of pure and applied chemistry

N&N

Nanoscience & nanotechnology

OECD

Organization for economic cooperation and development

R&D

Research & development

R&D&I

Research & development & innovation

SR

Social responsibility

UN

United Nations

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was funded by Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness within the framework of Project CTQ2011-23790. E. Caballero-Díaz wishes to thank the Ministry for the award of a Research Training Fellowship (Grant AP2008-02955).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Encarnación Caballero-Díaz
    • 1
  • Bartolomé M. Simonet
    • 1
  • Miguel Valcárcel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Analytical ChemistryUniversity of CordobaCordobaSpain

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