Gezamenlijk verkennen zij in ‘The future is coming sooner than you think’ de stadia van de technologische veranderingen in de komende 15 tot 20 jaar en wat deze ontwikkeling inhoudt voor beleid, bestuur, regelgeving en lange termijninvesteringen van de overheid.
Zo concludeert de studie onder meer. “It is important to have a realistic view of what public engagement can accomplish. As we go forward, an increasing proportion of investment in nanotechnology will come from the private sector. As a result, government will gradually lose much its ability to shape the direction of in which the technology advances. Decisions will increasingly be made by a decentralized collection of international businesses, universities, consumers and investors. Any attempt to subject these decisions to a collective decision process in order to manage broad “socioeconomic effects” is almost certain to do far more harm than good. But because the harm from overly stringent regulation will come mainly in the form of future beneficial technology that will be delayed or stopped altogether, it may not be immediately apparent.
Government should, however, be involved in monitoring technological developments, identifying any specific environmental risks, holding manufacturers responsible for any harm that their products do cause, and, where appropriate, implementing carefully designed regulatory systems justified by careful cost/benefit analysis. Nanotechnology must be allowed to proceed as other transforming technologies such as chemistry, steam power, and electricity have done. It must proceed at its own pace and in its own direction. Better dialogue and research can help society deal with specific problems as they become apparent. It can also address the inevitable economic dislocation that will affect specific markets.”
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