You are hereBiblio / Nanoethics—A Collaboration Across Disciplines

Nanoethics—A Collaboration Across Disciplines

By csep - Posted on 18 February 2013

TitleNanoethics—A Collaboration Across Disciplines
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsRasmussen, Anna Julie, Ebbesen Mette, and Andersen Svend
Pagination185 - 193
Date Published12/2012
ISSN Number1871-4765

The field of nanoscience and nanotechnology is expanding rapidly, promising great benefits for society in the form of better medicine, more efficient energy production, new types of materials, etc. Naturally, in order for the science and technology to live up to these promises, it is important to continue scientific research and development, but equally important is the ethical dimension. Giving attention to the social, ethical and legal aspects of the field, among others, will help in developing a fully responsible-and thereby capable-science and technology. Nanoethics has emerged as a field concerned with such ethical issues related to nanoscience and nanotechnology. Even though this field is relatively new, a significant amount of literature has already been published. This paper focuses on three of the major issues which are discussed in the literature of nanoethics, and also points to a certain bias in this literature. Each quite different in nature, these issues are: (1) The naming and (2) the timing of and approach to the field, as well as (3) the issue of safety. As will be seen, these issues are almost exclusively discussed by ethicists, (throughout the article, the term'ethicist' is used in a broad definition covering philosophers, social and political scientists as well as philosophers of science) thus having no direct influence on the work being carried out by scientists. One can argue, therefore, that this bias creates a distortion of the ethical debate, making it insufficient and misleading. Ultimately, this bias is caused by the lack of communication and collaboration between ethicists on the one hand, and nanoscientists on the other. Thus, an argument is made for the different disciplines to begin collaborating, so as to more effectively and responsibly develop the field of nanoscience

Short TitleNanoethics