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Risk Communication for Nanobiotechnology: To Whom, About What, and Why?
|Title||Risk Communication for Nanobiotechnology: To Whom, About What, and Why?|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Priest, Susanna Hornig|
|Journal||The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics|
|Pagination||759 - 769|
|Keywords||Public Perception, Risk Assessment|
Regulatory oversight and public communication are intimately intertwined. Oversight failures quickly galvanize media and public attention. In addition, regulations sometimes require that risks and uncertainties be included in communication efforts aimed at non-experts outside of the regulatory and policy communities — whether in obtaining informed consent for novel medical treatments; by including risk information on drug labels, in drug advertisements, or on chemicals used in the workplace; in providing nutritional information on food packages; or by opening environmental impact assessments to public comment. This article discusses six models of upstream public risk communication and uses those models to analyze the communication challenges facing nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology. The author also reviews the communication dynamics associated with the historical cases of technology regulation including genetically engineered organisms [GEOs] in the food supply, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, chemicals in the workplace, and gene transfer research or “gene therapy” to help shed light on the communications challenges facing nanobiotechnology.