Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 739–742 | Cite as

On Identifying Plausibility and Deliberative Public Policy

Commentary on: “Negotiating Plausibility: Intervening in the Future of Nanotechnology”


The identification of plausible epistemic approaches in science as well as the social problem definitions with which scientists implicitly work is essential for the quality of a deliberative public policy. While responding to the Nanofutures project, I will reflect on the essential elements of such a policy.


Deliberation Public policy Nanotechnology Plausibility 


  1. Drexler, E. (2003). Open letter to Richard Smalley. Chemical and Engineering News, 81, 38–39.Google Scholar
  2. Selin, C. (2011). Negotiating plausibility: Intervening in the future of nanotechnology. Science and Engineering Ethics, 17 (this issue).Google Scholar
  3. Smalley, R. (2003). Smalley responds. Chemical and Engineering News, 81, 39–42.Google Scholar
  4. Van Oudheusden, M. (2011). Questioning ‘Participation’: A critical appraisal of its conceptualization in a flemish participatory technology assessment. Science and Engineering Ethics, 17(3), (this issue).Google Scholar
  5. Von Schomberg, R. (1993). Controversies and political decision making. In R. Von Schomberg (Ed.), Science, politics and morality. Scientific uncertainty and decision making. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  6. Von Schomberg, R. (2007). From the ethics of technology towards the ethics of knowledge policy and assessment. Working document from the European Commission services. Brussels January. Available: under e-library, responsible governance.
  7. Von Schomberg, R., Pereira, A. G., & Funtowicz, S. (2005). Deliberating foresight knowledge for policy and knowledge assessment. Working document from the European Commission services, Brussels, November. Available:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Commission, DG ResearchBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations