The New Biology
Edited by Matthew Rimmer and Alison McLennan
Alison McLennan and Matthew Rimmer ‘She would sing to it sweetly, Cosmo, Cosmolino, world, little world’ Helen Garner, Cosmo, Cosmolino1 Gary Marchant and his colleagues observe that nanotechnology is an exemplar of an emerging technology: Nanotechnology is the latest in a growing list of emerging technologies that includes nuclear technologies, genetics, reproductive biology, biotechnology, information technology, robotics, communication technologies, surveillance technologies, synthetic biology, and neuroscience. As was the case for many of the technologies that came before, a key question facing nanotechnology is what type of regulatory oversight is appropriate for this emerging technology.2 Ian Kerr and Goldie Bassie pithily put the question, ‘How ought today’s policy-makers to address such concerns about a technology “so new that, in truth, it barely exists”?’3 Nanotechnology is the ﬁeld of science and technology that is focused around the hundred nanometer scale downwards.4 It refers to devices 1 2 3 4 Garner, Helen (1992), Cosmo, Cosmolino, Melbourne: McPhee Gribble and Penguin Books, 144. Marchant, G., D. Sylvester and K. Abbott (2009), ‘What Does the History of Technology Regulation Teach Us About Nano Oversight?’ Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 37, 724–31 at 724. Kerr, I. and G. Bassie (2004), ‘Not That Much Room? Nanotechnology, Networks and the Politics of Dancing’, Health Law Journal, 12, 103–23. For a discussion of the historical development of nanotechnology, see Drexler, K. Eric (1986), Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, Garden City: Anchor Press/DoubleDay; Peterson, C. (2004), ‘Nanotechnology: From Feynman to the Grand...
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