Emerging Technology Goverance


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Our aim with Nano&me is to provide balanced, easy to understand information about nanotechnology and be the hub of debate for everyone to discuss the important issues which arise from its use. Visit the site and let us know what you think…. www.nanoandme.org

If you would like to link to the site or discuss partnering with us to use the site as part of your own public involvement projects contact Hilary Sutcliffe on [email protected]

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Emerging Technology Goverance

Complexity + disruption + uncertainty

The applications of science and technology are becoming more complex, more disruptive and global in their reach and impact. There is promise of huge economic and social benefit from these emerging technologies, but at the same time there are real uncertainties about their social impact, efficacy & safety.

As global power shifts alter the economic landscape and the nature and pace of innovation appears to step up a few gears, there is real concern about the governance of such technologies.

How can we govern such technologies effectively?

  • Individuals, companies, countries and continents have profoundly differing attitudes to technology, innovation, risk and governance. How can these be reflected in governance frameworks without creating ineffective, unusable frameworks which will be ignored?
  • Is it realistic, or even desirable, to try to articulate global principles for emerging technologies as diverse, yet interconnected as biotechnology, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, genomics, robotics, converging technology and geoengineering and more?
  • If such a framework were considered useful, who is trusted enough to create and monitor it? Is that even possible?
  • What lessons can we learn from existing governance initiatives such as those in bioethics, nanotechnologies, climate change & agricultural biotech?

These and many other questions arise from debates about emerging technology governance; but few forums that we know of at the moment appear to focus on practical governance solutions.

We are in the early stages of multi-stakeholder dialogue to explore these key questions. This began on December 13th 2010 with a ‘brainstorm’ in the UK. MATTER has convened this meeting to bring together a diverse group of those with expertise in the area of emerging technologies and governance for an informal discussion with the underpinning theme of ‘What are we going to do about it?

The meeting stands alone, but it is our ambition, in our role as a catalyst, that we can stimulate those who can contribute, to reflect more on such issues & take practical steps to move this agenda forward. We are currently exploring a number of EU, transatlantic and international dialogue projects.

If you would like to be involved in the Emerging Technologies Governance, either as a participant in the dialogue, a partner or a funder, please contact Hilary Sutcliffe on +44 (0)207 520 9086