Innogen  ·  Publications  ·  Journal articles
Invigorating ‘Nanoethics’: Recommendations for Improved Deliberations in Taiwan and Beyond

Harmon, SHE   Yen, S.   Tang, S.

NanoEthics   5 (3) 309-318

December 2011

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11569-011-0131-1?null

Nanotechnology is the new(est) star in the high technologies sky. While nanotechnologies remain technologies of promise and potential, a growing number of nano-materials and nano-particle-reliant products are being produced. And although a growing number of academic, policy and industry reports are exploring nanotechnologies, there are very few genuine ethical assessments of nanotechnologies as they exist and might evolve in the coming years. Many questions have yet to be answered about the nature, development, and social and commercial deployment of nanotechnologies and what that means for the human condition and the preservation of our core values. We argue that the early and potentially risky nature of this interdisciplinary science does not justify a blinkered focus on risk assessment and management to the detriment of deep and ranging ethical evaluations. Much improved ethics evaluations must be undertaken, particularly in Taiwan where very little has happened despite grand expectations for, and funding of, the science. In this paper, we uncover the development imperatives for nanotechnologies, demonstrate the paucity of genuine nanoethics exercises, outline key questions for stakeholders undertaking nanoethics exercises to consider, and we articulate some preliminary actions for Taiwan (and other similarly situated jurisdictions).