Week 7

Week 7 - 'Mind the gap': science and ethics in...

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Unformatted text preview: 'Mind the gap': science and ethics in nanotechnology This article has been downloaded from IOPscience. Please scroll down to see the full text article. 2003 Nanotechnology 14 R9 (http://iopscience.iop.org/0957-4484/14/3/201) Download details: IP Address: 128.235.18.14 The article was downloaded on 03/08/2010 at 21:47 Please note that terms and conditions apply. View the table of contents for this issue, or go to the journal homepage for more Home Search Collections Journals About Contact us My IOPscience I NSTITUTE OF PHYSICS PUBLISHING N ANOTECHNOLOGY Nanotechnology 14 (2003) R9R13 PII: S0957-4484(03)57090-8 TUTORIAL Mind the gap: science and ethics in nanotechnology Anisa Mnyusiwalla 1 , 2 , 3 , Abdallah S Daar 1 , 2 , 3,4 and Peter A Singer 1 , 2 , 3,5 1 University of Toronto Joint Center for Bioethics, Canada 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada 3 Program in Applied Ethics and Biotechnology, University of Toronto Joint Center for Bioethics, Canada 4 Departments of Public Health Sciences and Surgery, University of Toronto, Canada 5 Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada Received 2 December 2002 Published 13 February 2003 Online at stacks.iop.org/Nano/14/R9 Abstract Nanotechnology (NT) is a rapidly progressing field. Advances will have a tremendous impact on fields such as materials, electronics, and medicine. A thorough review of the current literature, governmental funding, and policy documents was undertaken. Despite the potential impact of NT, and the abundance of funds, our research revealed that there is a paucity of serious, published research into the ethical, legal, and social implications of NT. As the science leaps ahead, the ethics lags behind. There is danger of derailing NT if the study of ethical, legal, and social implications does not catch up with the speed of scientific development. (Some figures in this article are in colour only in the electronic version) In August 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, an organization called ETC held several workshops calling for a moratorium on the deployment of nanomaterials [1]. Meanwhile, over the past few years expenditure on research and development in nanotechnology (NT) has increased dramatically [2]. These two trends seem to be on a collision course towards a showdown of the type that we saw with GM crops (indeed, ETC, previously known as RAFI, coined the phrase terminator seed). As the science of NT leaps ahead, the ethics lags behind. Activist groups have appropriately identified this gap, and begun to exploit it. We believe that there is danger of derailing NT if serious study of NTs ethical, environmental, economic, legal, and social implications (we call this NE 3 LS research) does not reach the speed of progress in the science....
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2011 for the course SS 100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Spring '11 term at NJIT.

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Week 7 - 'Mind the gap': science and ethics in...

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