Keeping the dream alive : what ELSI-research might learn from parliamentary technology assessment

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    The last section of the book offers lessons for action. Rinie van Est, a staff member at the Dutch parliamentary technology assessment organization, the Rathenau Institute, proposes that the notion of moving towards equity and equality through nanotechnology is as big a vision as the visions of technological transformation put forth by many nano-advocates. In order to move in the direction of the vision, van Est argues for three important steps. First, we must reflect on emerging equity and quality issues early in the development of new technologies rather than after they are produced. Van Est challenges researchers to develop constructive suggestions to strengthen equity and equality. Second, we need to mobilize the public rather than wait for people to get interested in nanotechnology. Van Est envisions people of all walks of life weighing in on what they want our nano-enabled future to be. To make this possible we need to stimulate public participation on many levels, including the active engagement of civil society organizations and experts like social scientists, policy makers, and politicians. Third, and perhaps most important for this volume, van Est encourages ELSI-researchers to play a more active role in the public and political debate so their insights may have a larger impact in society. Publishing in academic journals. . . or even Yearbooks. . . may not reach a sufficient audience to make change possible. To further the cause of equity in a meaningful way, academe needs to connect with the larger world.—eds.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNanotechnology and the challenges of equity, equality and development
    EditorsS.E. Cozzens, J.M. Wetmore
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    Number of pages457
    ISBN (Print)978-90-481-9614-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameYearbook of nanotechnology in society


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