International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies
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International Handbook on Regulating Nanotechnologies

Edited by Graeme A. Hodge, Diana M. Bowman and Andrew D. Maynard

As scientists and technologists discover how to engineer matter at the nanoscale in increasingly sophisticated ways, conventional approaches to ensuring safe use are being brought into question. Nanotechnologies are challenging traditional regulatory regimes; but they are also prompting new thinking on developing and using emerging technologies safely. In this Handbook, leading international authors from industry, government, non-governmental organisations and academia examine the complex and often controversial regulatory challenges presented by nanotechnologies. Across several disciplinary boundaries, they explore how the future regulatory landscape may evolve. From the Europe Union to the United States, workplaces to personal products, and statutory instruments through to softer approaches, it is clear that considerable vigilance will be needed in governing these powerful and novel technologies. To succeed, society will need new thinking, new partnerships and new mechanisms to balance the benefits of these technologies against their possible downsides. Anything less will prompt cries of illegitimacy and potentially compromise a promising new realm of technology innovation.
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Chapter 8: Regulating Risk: The Bigger Picture

Karinne Ludlow and Peter Binks


Karinne Ludlow and Peter Binks While a picture may be worth a thousand words, the frame is also influential to our understanding of the depicted scene. It is well known that the framing of a problem is influential to the approach taken to the problem.1 ‘Framing’ is used here to refer to ‘the process by which people develop a particular conceptualization of an issue or reorient their thinking about an issue’ (Chong and Druckman, 2007: 104). As Hanke et al. (2002: 7) note ‘how individuals frame a dispute has implications for how they see the dispute unfolding and whether and how they envision it being resolved’. Changing the frame can change the way an issue is seen and therefore approached. For example, changing the framing of the problem of global pandemic from a public health issue to one of trade or national security, changes expectations of which international bodies should respond to the problem, in turn changing the way we expect the problem to be approached and the forms of response adopted. The problem of the recent human swine flu pandemic could have been framed as an issue only of human health requiring a response from international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and national organizations responsible for public health. However, some of the 50 jurisdictions that responded to the problem by prohibiting the import of pigs into their jurisdiction for a period, did so because they characterized the issue, at least partly, as a ‘trade’ concern (Reuters,...

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