Consumers and Nanotechnology

Consumers and Nanotechnology: Deliberative Processes and Methodologies

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Features

  • Discusses further development of a successful European project
  • Provides a very specific set of points of comparison
  • Analyzes the development until the present and comments on the future way of using an important democratic tool

Summary

In recent years, questions about democratic influence on science and technology have received much attention. The lesson from the European unrest over GMO is that consumer-citizens will react negatively to being forced to accept the introduction of new, partly untested technologies. A number of political bodies have started to involve citizens and to consider their concerns, attitudes, hopes, and worries in the early stages of the coming nano revolution. This volume is assembles the contributions of experts who analyze a number of these deliberations, mainly in the European Union and the United States. The book analyzes citizen-oriented deliberations along with more stakeholder-oriented deliberations.

Table of Contents

Emerging Technologies and Democracy, Pål Strandbakken
Overview of a Set of Deliberative Processes on Nano, Gerd Scholl and Ulrich Petschow
Citizens’ Nano Conference in Denmark, Eivind Stø
The NanoJury in the UK, Eivind Stø
Consumer Conference on Nanotechnology in Food, Cosmetics and Textiles, Germany, Gerd Scholl
French Conference Cycle on Nanotechnology: "Nanomonde", Giampiero Pitisci
Citizens’ Conference, Ile de France, Pål Strandbakken
Nano Technology Citizens’ Conference in Madison, USA, M. Attila Öner and Özcan Saritas
The US National Citizens Technology Forum on Human Enhancement: An experiment in Deliberation Across a Nation, Fern Wickson, Michael D. Cobb and Patrick Hamlett
The Convergence Seminar, the DEMOCS Card Game and Nanologue: Three Experiments with Cross National Deliberative Processes Within the 6th and 7th Framework Programme of the EU, Eniko Demeny, Judith Sandor, and Peter Kakuk
Standardization as a Form of Deliberation, Harald Throne-Holst and Pål Strandbakken
An Online Platform for Future Deliberative Processes, Francois Jegou and Pål Strandbakken
Conclusions: Toward a Third Generation of Deliberative Processes, Eivind Stø, Gerd Scholl, and Pål Strandbakken

Author Bio(s)

Pål Strandbakken is a researcher with the National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO) since 1992. He has also worked on the project Alternative Future from 1988 to 1992 for the Norwegian Parliament. His current research interests are environmental sociology, ELSA aspects of nanotechnology, product durability and STS.

Gerd Scholl is an economist currently working as a senior researcher at the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) in Berlin. His main areas of interest include sustainable consumption and production, sustainable marketing and consumers and new technologies.

Eivind Stø is a political scientist currently working as a research director at the National Institute for Consumer Research in Norway. His main areas of interest include the sociology of consumption, sustainable production and consumption and consumer complaints.

Editorial Reviews

"The book is a highly relevant and important contribution to wider contemporary debates on the nature and division of responsibilities and the roles and influence of multiple actors and constituencies in contexts which bring together innovation under late modernity and plural governance within modern democracies."
—Sally Randles, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, UK

"The editors did an excellent job, not only by delivering a comprehensive overview of the state of affairs of deliberative processes in the field of emerging technologies, but also by advancing the insights gained of the previous decade and providing a promising outlook for future deliberative practices."
—René von Schomberg, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission

 
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