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Nanotechnology : Mapping the Wild Regulatory

By csep - Posted on 03 August 2012

TitleNanotechnology : Mapping the Wild Regulatory
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBowman, D., and Hodge G. A.
Date Published11/2006
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number00163287
KeywordsNanotechnology Policy and Regulation

Purpose - To examine the phenomena of nanotechnology and regulatory frontiers within which it may operate.
Design/methodology/approach - Discusses the nature of nanotechnology in terms of it being considered science function or science fiction, the diversity of current nano-products and prospective second-generation nano applications, the promises and threats of nanotechnology. Homes in on the regulatory framework for nanotechnology, covering how it is currently regulated and issues that ought to be considered in a future regulatory agenda. Illustrates the state of national regulatory arrangements in terms of relevant legislation through a case study of Australia's approach to regulating nanotechnology. Describes how some form of government regulation impacts on nanotechnology products whether during the laboratory R&D phase, commercialization process or through to recycling or disposal; but makes the point that the future scope of agency roles remains unclear and that as nanotechnology develops, increasing clarity will be required across regulatory bodies to ensure that it does not continue to face through regulatory cracks. Argues that there is a need for a range of different regulatory and enforcement approaches to adequately oversee future developments within the family of technologies. Looking to the future regulatory research agenda contends that there is a fundamental lack of knowledge among nanotechnology scholars as to those regulatory frameworks best suited to this sector in nations such as Australia.

Findings - Warns of an emerging gap between the exciting commercial advances being made in the nanotechnology sector and the community's expectation for regulatory safeguards and protections.

Research limitations/implications - Has no stated implications for future research.

Originality/value - Adds to the growing literature on the phenomena of nanotechnology with a focus on ethical, policy, regulatory and legal aspects