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Social and Ethical Issues Surrounding Nanotechnology. Based on Nanotechnology: The Social and Ethical Issues, Ronald Sandler, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, PEN 16, January 2009. PSCI 4442 – February 27, 2009.

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slide1

Social and Ethical Issues Surrounding Nanotechnology

Based on Nanotechnology: The Social and Ethical Issues, Ronald Sandler, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, PEN 16, January 2009.

PSCI 4442 – February 27, 2009

slide2

Three Misconceptions about Social and Ethical Issues

  • Too soon to tell
  • The inevitable goodness
  • Point of studying these issues is to secure public acceptance
slide3

Typology of Issues

  • Social Context Issues
  • Contested Moral Issues
  • Technoculture Issues
  • Form of Life Issues
  • Transformational Issues
slide4

Social Context Issues

  • Environmental Justice
    • Substantially new manufacturing infrastructure
  • Where does the manufacturing go?
slide5

Social Context Comments

  • Many of the issues have been researched
  • Require immediate attention
  • Significant to responsible development
  • Requires remedying problematic features of the social contexts (location)
  • Action may be taken
  • Intersect with government functions
  • Need input from social scientists and ethicists
slide6

Moral Context Issues

  • Sanctity of life forms
slide7

Moral Issues Comments

  • Not applicable to all nanotechnologies
  • Determinate and immediate
  • Involve conflicting world views
  • Must consider moral implications
  • Concerns regarding moral issues cannot be excluded from social and political conversation
  • Issues are actionable
slide8

Technoculture Context Issues

  • Nanotechnology as Techno-Fix?
slide9

Technoculture Issues Comments

  • Immediate and determinate
  • Highlight significance of individual and cultural attitudes or tendencies
  • Intersect with social context issues
  • Intersect with governmental functions and responsibilities
  • Many aspects actionable
  • Not necessarily applicable to all nanotechnologies
slide10

Form of Life Context Issues

  • Virtual Reality and Sociability (social aspects of extended life, replacement of natural goods?)
slide11

Form of Life Issues Comments

  • Impact on human situation likely substantial
  • Issues will be diverse and profound
  • Difficult to identify impacts in advance
  • Less determinate and actionable than others
  • Not usually social problems
  • Intersect with government functions and responsibilities
slide12

Transformational Issues

  • Transformational dimensions of radical human enhancement
slide13

Transformational Issues Comments

  • Less immediate and less determinate than others
  • Should not take precedence over other social and ethical issues
  • Should not be dismissed