Anticipatory Constructive Engagement at the State Level

Reibstein, Rick. (2010) Anticipatory Constructive Engagement at the State Level. [Video] (Unpublished)

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The prospects of nanotechnology, (both bright and dark), have stimulated interest at state government levels, primarily relating to the promise of economic development opportunities, but also to potential environmental, health and safety (EHS) harms. This talk will describe the Safe Development approach in Massachusetts, which posits strong EHS protection and preventive design as good for business as well as workers, the public, and the environment. The Safe Development concept is aimed at resolving conflicts concerning precaution and avoiding both Type I (overregulation) and Type II errors (underregulation). Precaution may be effectively included in policy discussions when its plain meaning remains clearly understood and its value is acknowledged and shared. Likewise, the universe of stakeholders potentially affected by nanotechnologies (positively or negatively) can be easily identified and acknowledged to serve as a fundamental concept in policy dialogue, as can the idea that public dialogue is better than behind-the-scenes decision-making. Other simple, basic concepts can be applied to the nanotechnology discussion, such as the virtue of taking a holistic, life-cycle perspective; the value of the principle and act of recognizing rights to information; the role of empathy; and the clear differences between free, releasable nanoparticles and those that are embedded (at least until end-of-life). The experience of prompting public discussion on nanotechnology in the state of Massachusetts has provided an example of the importance of articulating clear and simple concepts in addressing this legally and technically complex issue. Some starting principles for policy discussions will be offered in the context of relating the presenter’s experience working on two state conferences and an interagency working group, and developing guidance on Safe Development of Nanotechnology.

Item Type: Video
Additional Information: Emerging Organizations, Oversight, and Public Policy Systems
InterNano Taxonomy: Social and Economic Impacts > Policy and Regulation
Collections: Science Technology and Society's Nanotechnology and Society Workshops
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Michelle Sagan Goncalves
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2010 15:03
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2010 15:13

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