Τετάρτη, 1 Μαΐου 2019

NanoEthics

World Community; and Remarks on our Own Behalf


Models of Anticipation Within the Responsible Research and Innovation Framework: the Two RRI Approaches and the Challenge of Human Rights

Abstract

Anticipation is one of the main goals of new governance models, such as Responsible Research and Innovation. However, there is not a single mode of anticipation in this model. Two approaches can be addressed within the RRI framework: a socio-empirical one, which tends to underline the role of the democratic processes, aimed at identifying values on which governance needs to be anchored (bottom-up); and a normative one, which stresses the role of EU goals (among which are fundamental rights) as 'normative anchor points' in governance (top-down). These two approaches also address two different models of anticipation: one based on the construction of shared pathways for reflexivity on the purposes of innovation (visions), the other based on the progressive implementation of constitutional goals in risk assessment and management tools. However, both can be deemed partially unsatisfactory from the standpoint of human rights since one puts individual rights in the middle of the 'values lottery' where any participatory process ultimately leads; the other can be inadequate since fundamental rights are balanced alongside other goals and thus can be (totally or partially) sacrificed, exposing the system to possible adverse court decisions. The normative framework of human rights can help to counterbalance both models aimed at maximising inclusion and those aimed at pursuing constitutional normative principles at the basis of technologically advanced societies, strengthening their dimension of anticipation according to a rights-based perspective.



Lessons from the European Regulation 1223 of 2009, on Cosmetics: Expectations Versus Reality

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to conduct an analysis of the application of the specific rules of nanotechnology incorporated in Regulation No. 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products. It has been ten years since the European Commission had issued its proposal to start the co-decision procedure to create Regulation 1223 of 2009. Although it has been praised for noting the regulatory difference of nanomaterials over the rest of the chemicals, what has been the efficacy of the standard? It is concluded that despite what it meant, the regulation has encountered technical obstacles, thus rendering the objectives relating to nanotechnology that were proposed from the European Commission unfulfilled. This finding is inferred through legal dogmatic methodologies and the identification of nanomaterials that have not been expressly approved. Nevertheless, products incorporating nanomaterials still circulate in the European market. The precepts about nanotechnology in the regulation should be reviewed because technical inconsistencies should be avoided in future regulations or applicable regulations in contexts other than Europe. Such inconsistencies exist with respect to the high level of protection of human health that should be ensured and the provisions intended to protect consumer safety. For instance, the catalog of nanomaterials in circulation does not indicate the materials that have been approved or their toxicological profiles. To date, no comparison studies have been presented between the expectations and legislative objectives set as embodied in the regulation and debated in the European Parliament involving the actual efficacy of this regulation.



Nation-Building and the Governance of Emerging Technologies: the Case of Nanotechnology in India

Abstract

Emerging technologies like nanotechnologies are governed in different ways around the world. This article draws attention to an important element that can help to explain the emergence of this diversity in governance practices: the role of nanotechnology in nation-building. By investigating the relation between nanotechnology and the nation in India, the article demonstrates that various particularities of the Indian governance of nanotechnology can be explained by the relation between science, technology, and nation-building. The article discusses four instances in which the governance of nanotechnology in India is informed by the role science and technology has in nation-building: the historical image of India as a country that can attain modernity and development by engaging with modern science and technology supported the government's decision to free funds for nanotechnology research; the view of India as a country that cannot rely on foreign assistance to get access to the latest technologies reinforced the strategy to pro-actively pursue nanotechnology research and development itself; the historical use of science and technology as crucial elements in overcoming deeply rooted societal divisions enabled the science-centered way in which nanotechnology was governed; and the Indian ambition to become a global superpower informed the governance of nanotechnology as an object of international competition. The governance of nanotechnology in turn defines 'Indianness' in a post-liberalization world.



Development and Pilot Testing of an Evidence-Based Training Module for Integrating Social and Ethical Implications into the Lab

Abstract

In this project, we (1) explore perceptions of the social and ethical implications (SEI) of nanotechnology among US scientists who work at the nanoscale, and (2) develop and pilot test an online training module to foster consideration of social and ethical implications in the lab. To meet our first goal, we drew qualitative insights from open-ended survey data collected from scientists affiliated with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. Our data suggest that while the survey participants responded positively to the idea that consideration of SEI should be a part of the work they do, there was confusion about whether SEI refers to lab safety, research integrity, or something more. This is something we sought to address in the online training module that we developed based on that qualitative data and on feedback collected from experts in nanoethics and lab management. We then pilot tested the module with undergraduate students studying nanotechnology in the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program and with scientists registered to use a National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure-funded microelectronics research lab. The undergraduate data suggested that students appreciated the SEI training but wished professors and scientists would begin integrating the ideas therein into coursework and mentoring. The scientist data suggested that the module increased understanding of "social and ethical implications," increased the perceived need to implement SEI into workplace routines, and, interestingly, heightened perceptions of risk associated with the scientists' own work. The practical and theoretical implications of this work are discussed.



Improving Responsibility, Responsible Improvements


Responsibility and Human Enhancement


Rethinking Human Enhancement: Social Enhancement and Emergent Technologies


Giving Voice to Patients: Developing a Discussion Method to Involve Patients in Translational Research

Abstract

Biomedical research policy in recent years has often tried to make such research more 'translational', aiming to facilitate the transfer of insights from research and development (R&D) to health care for the benefit of future users. Involving patients in deliberations about and design of biomedical research may increase the quality of R&D and of resulting innovations and thus contribute to translation. However, patient involvement in biomedical research is not an easy feat. This paper discusses the development of a method for involving patients in (translational) biomedical research aiming to address its main challenges.

After reviewing the potential challenges of patient involvement, we formulate three requirements for any method to meaningfully involve patients in (translational) biomedical research. It should enable patients (1) to put forward their experiential knowledge, (2) to develop a rich view of what an envisioned innovation might look like and do, and (3) to connect their experiential knowledge with the envisioned innovation. We then describe how we developed the card-based discussion method 'Voice of patients', and discuss to what extent the method, when used in four focus groups, satisfied these requirements. We conclude that the method is quite successful in mobilising patients' experiential knowledge, in stimulating their imaginaries of the innovation under discussion and to some extent also in connecting these two. More work is needed to translate patients' considerations into recommendations relevant to researchers' activities. It also seems wise to broaden the audience for patients' considerations to other actors working on a specific innovation.



Responsible Research and Innovation and the Governance of Human Enhancement

Abstract

This article aims to explore the debate on human enhancement (HE) from the perspective of the evolutions of responsibility paradigms, and in particular from the perspective of the so-called Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach. The aim is not to explore the arguments pro or contra the ethical legitimacy and/or technical feasibility of human enhancement, but rather exploring if, and how, the RRI perspective can shape the debate on human enhancement (and vice versa).

In particular, the human enhancement debate will be read through the lenses of four main responsibility paradigms that we sketch by examining both, the historical and conceptual evolution of the responsibility idea and the dynamics of its ascription. In order to provide a useful scheme for interpreting human enhancement, RRI will be characterised as a distinctive responsibility model that can subsequently be used to frame the debate on HE with a particular emphasis on its normative implications, as well as on its social and political significance.



Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos
Crete.Greece.72100
2841026182
6948891480

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