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Compiling the ethical, legal, and social implications of nanotechnology


By csep - Posted on 25 August 2010

TitleCompiling the ethical, legal, and social implications of nanotechnology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsLopez, Jose
JournalHealth Law Review
Volume12
Issue3
Pagination24-27
Date PublishedFall, 2004
Type of ArticleJournal Article
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number1188-8725
Abstract

This paper maintains that although there is much interest at the moment in exploring the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of nanotechnology, the ability to do so in a critical and reflective way depends on how nanotechnology's future is envisioned. Science fiction literature often uses a `novum`, or a deliberately introduced scientific change made to the world as experienced by the author and the reader, as its primary narrative device. For example, in K. Erix Drexler’s book `Engines of Creation` he uses the molecular assembly as his `novum.` The paper concludes by arguing that the widely shared narratives about nanotechnology's future, structured by the novum, limits the types of ELSI questions can be addressed. Nanotechnology refers to an extremely wide range of techniques and applications that deal with the manipulation of mater at the nanoscale. By grouping all of these applications under one future narrative, we are likely to fail to look at all the potential ethical legal and social implications that are likely to arise.

URLhttp://www.law.ualberta.ca/centres/hli/pdfs/hlr/v12_3/12-3-06%20Lopez.pdf