Ecological Governance of Nanotechnologies

Speaker: Dr Fern Wickson # GenØk Centre for Biosafety in Tromsø, Norway

6th Jun 2011

15:30 - 17:00

Seminar Room 1.06, Old Surgeons' Hall, High School Yards, University of Edinburgh


Enormous international attention and investment is currently being directed towards nanoscale sciences and technologies. This talk will describe this emerging field of research and development and characterise the key challenges of its governance as those of handling multi-dimensional invisibility and irreducible uncertainty. The discussion will specifically focus on the desire to minimise harm to the environment from nanotechnologies and will demonstrate how questions of risk and ethics are inevitably entangled in this task. It will then critically analyse 'upstream' public engagement as a proposed solution to these governance challenges and open for a discussion on creative ways forward for negotiating ecological uncertainties and the technological interface we establish with our biological community.


Dr Fern Wickson is a researcher at GenØk Centre for Biosafety in Tromsø, Norway. Her research focuses on the environmental governance of emerging technologies (such as biotechnology and nanotechnology) where she is specifically interested in the transdiciplinary nature of this task.

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