Lucien Hanssen, Deining Societal Communication & Governance

Title: Assessing Nanotechnologies: Integrating RATA into Responsible Nano Innovations
Session: Monday 5 October, 15:45

Abstract

The combination of technological promise, speculation about safety, and lack of public awareness about consequences of nanotechnologies can lead to mistrust and opposition. The debate on risks and opportunities has been going on for a decade, but has been limited to a small circle of specialists and institutions. Therefore, few people really understand what nanotechnologies are all about, or even know that nano materials are already used in consumer products. Responsible nano innovation will be influenced by both public perceptions, and the expectation that there are responsible parties addressing uncertainties. Nano actors require insight into what information is pivotal to answer the question whether a nano material is safe. Meanwhile, the interaction between nano actors, stakeholders and publics should be improved to allow discussions on safety and wider issues to keep better pace with the innovation processes. Two concepts are commented: Safe-by-Design and Societal Incubator.

Bio

Dr Lucien Hanssen is director of Deining Societal Communication & Governance, a research bureau which is primarily concerned with innovations in science and technology and their implications for society and the human environment. The bureau's focus is on scientific uncertainties as they affect policy decisions, and the development of methods which can promote and facilitate public consultation and participation. Alongside his consultancy work with Deining, he lectures in risk communication and governance strategies at the Dutch universities of Twente, Wageningen and Nijmegen, where he is also engaged in various academic research projects. A particular focus of his research relates to developing interdisciplinary activities between the social and natural sciences. 

 

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